I discovered this book browsing in a New York bookstore. Winton is a youngish Australian whose novels have twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. Dirt Music is the story of a couple of outcasts who find each other, lose each other, and against pretty remarkable odds, connect again. I have rarely read any work that more evocatively captures landscapes – in this case the wilds of Western Australia. A real page-turner, the novel is both a deep character study of the central actors and a gripping narrative. I am purposely not saying much about the plot because to do so would be to give too much away. I found myself carried along for four-fifths of the book, but must admit to being a bit disappointed in the conclusion which struck me as just too comfortable given everything that had gone before.
Tim Winton, Dirt Music ( Scribner, 2001)
November 25, 2012