Simon Baker stars in the film adaptation of Tim Winton's award winning novel 'Breath'.

Pick It Up Again

‘Breath’ by Tim Winton

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Released in 2008, Tim Winton’s tenth novel is getting a movie this year produced, directed, adapted for screen, and starring Simon Baker (the Aussie guy who stars in that American show, The Mentalist) as well as pro junior Samson Coulter (who featured in SW’s Grombash issue earlier this year). So that’s a neat enough excuse to pick this back up again and breeze through the excellent adolescent surfing tale set in 70s West Oz centred around two kids enamoured by big wave surfing, and an older, slightly mysterious surfing wild man. Or to read it for the first time. Of the four Winton books that have won the Miles Franklin (this one beat out The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas for the honour), it’s the shortest, which makes it a nice choice for teens obsessed with surfing, but not yet big on reading, to give a crack. Also, in light of a book about surfing winning the most high honour of a freaking Pulitzer Prize recently, William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days, it’s cool to note that Winton’s prose on the very hard to write about act of wave riding, is just as brilliant, not that Winton needs the praise.

– panmacmillan.com

Mike Jennings