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Eyrie

A Novel

Tim Winton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Shortlisted for the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award

An exhilarating new book from Australia’s most acclaimed writer


Tim Winton is Australia’s most decorated and beloved literary novelist. Short-listed twice for the Booker Prize and the winner of a record four Miles Franklin Awards for Best Australian Novel, he has a gift for language virtually unrivaled among English-language novelists. His work is both tough and tender, primordial and new—always revealing the raw, instinctual drives that lure us together and rend us apart.
     In Eyrie, Winton crafts the story of Tom Keely, a man struggling to accomplish good in an utterly fallen world. Once an ambitious, altruistic environmentalist, Keely now finds himself broke, embroiled in scandal, and struggling to piece together some semblance of a life. From the heights of his urban high-rise apartment, he surveys the wreckage of his life and the world he’s tumbled out of love with. Just before he descends completely into pills and sorrow, a woman from his past and her preternatural child appear, perched on the edge of disaster, desperate for help.
     When you’re fighting to keep your head above water, how can you save someone else from drowning? As Keely slips into a nightmarish world of con artists, drug dealers, petty violence, and extortion, Winton confronts the cost of benevolence and creates a landscape of uncertainty. Eyrie is a thrilling and vertigo-inducing morality tale, at once brutal and lyrical, from one of our finest storytellers.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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I

 

So.

Here was this stain on the carpet, a wet patch big as a coffee table. He had no idea what it was or how it got there. But the sight of it put the wind right up him.

Until now Thursday hadn’t seemed quite so threatening.

It was a simple enough thing, waking late and at liberty to the peals of the town hall clock below. Eight, nine, maybe ten in the a.m. – Keely lacked the will to count. All that stern, Calvinist tolling gave him the yips. Even closed, his eyes felt wine-sapped. He hung on a while delaying the inevitable, wondering just how

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REVIEWS

Praise for Eyrie

"Eyrie is a dark but dazzling study of people ance palces on the edge . . . in [Winton's] hands, with his distinctive Australian voice and vernacular, this disquieting story also has the power to surprise and delight—perhaps even to inspire." —Allison McCullough, The New York Times Book Review 

"The beginning of the book is fueled . . . by the astonishing, limber prose that has made Winton one of the most celebrated writers in Australia . . . Of the many achievements of this extraordinary novel, one of the most remarkable is the way the the past gradually spills into the present . . . In a book full of teriffic characters and sharply drawn relationships, the most memorable is the bond between Keely and the seemingly doomed Kai. It's heartbreaking." —Porter Shreve, Washington Post

"A brilliant tour-de-force." —Adam Woog, The Seattle Times

"Fans of Mr. Winton will expect lucid characterisation and atmospheric prose; the author finds poetry in the grimmest scenes. Eyrie has all this plus a page-turning narrative that tumbles inexorably towards its ending. This is Tim Winton in searingly good form." —The Economist

"Winton comes vividly and vigorously into his own in his novel's blazingly immediate portrayal of Fremantle and Perth . . . [Eyrie] consolidates his status as a matchlessly exhilirating and excoriating fictional chronicler of Western Australia." —Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (London)

"Winton excels with sharp, stunted sentences rich in compressed observation, as well as with crisp and punching dialogue. His range is impressive . . . As a funny, compassionate and gripping study of family difference and solidarity, Eyrie resembles Tim Winton's most famous novel, Cloudstreet." —Literary Review (UK)

"Time and again I found myself panting admiringly at Winton's imagery: 'the pipe-sick water' that trickles out of Keely's taps, the way his brain slews about inside his head 'like unsecured cargo.' I also can't think of any other contemporary writer who can sustain a story with just three main characters in it for more than 400 pages." —John Preston, London Evening Standard

*Starred Review* "[A] beautifully written powerful ninth novel . . . [Winton’s] an absurdly good writer, with not only the proverbial eye for detail but also a facility for rendering each detail in an original way. Winton is ambitious; this is a state-of-the-nation novel about a world run amok . . . this is a fascinating, thought-provoking book." —Publishers Weekly

Eyrie is a fine work by any standard. It tackles myths of prosperity and success in a way that is not always comfortable, but that stirs deep thought. It is rich in compassion and affectionate towards the unlovely. It has a strong belief that no journey ends at the halfway mark. Eyrie is a novel for which our culture has been in urgent need.” —Michael McGirr, The Age (Australia)

“[Eyrie] bears witness to how the sprawling suburban world of this older generation, so often perched on the edge of wilder natural landscapes, has been tidied up, boxed in, the ecology of childhood imagination narrowed to PlayStation and satellite dish. Mostly though, it is a clear-eyed yet compassionate depiction of the underclass that lives off the crumbs of the resource boom . . . However elaborate your analysis of Eyrie, the novel stands, like all of the author’s work, on its ability to marry sophistication and simplicity. Page by page it is an engrossing novel; the reader is moved and enraged in equal measure by the plain human story of Keely and his beautiful, battered adoptive family. You long for the good guy to win. You pray and ache for a fresh start for them all. And, as ever, it is couched in the prose of a writer on whom nothing is lost, for whom the tiniest local detail bears an epiphanic charge . . . ‘Bravo,’ thinks Keely, ‘f . . king brava.’ On finishing Eyrie, I felt much the same.” —Geordie Williamson, The Australian

Praise for Breath

“Stunning in the depth of its audacity . . . Limitlessly beautiful prose.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Darkly exhilarating . . . A tautly gorgeous meditation on the inescapable human addiction to ‘the monotony of drawing breath,’ whether you want to or not.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Both a hymn to the beauty of flying on water and a sober assessment of the costs of losing one’s balance, in every sense of the word.” —The New Yorker

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Tim Winton

  • The preeminent Australian novelist of his generation, Tim Winton is the author of the bestselling Cloudstreet, The Riders, and Dirt Music, among many other books. He has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for Shallows, Cloudstreet, Dirt Music, and Breath) and has twice been short-listed for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.

  • Tim Winton © Denise Fitch
    Tim Winton
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Eyrie

A Novel

Tim Winton

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