Book of the week – Tim Winton’s Memoir October 5, 2016 – Posted in: Books, Review – Tags: , , ,

Memoir: Tim Winton – The Boy Behind the Curtain

Boy Behind the Curtain - Tim Winton's Memoir at Books of BuderimLocal Resident of Buderim provides Book Review on Tim Winton’s new memoir: This is a lovely, funny, and interesting read. A Beautiful book

This collection of short stories, articles and essays give some very personal insight into the events, family circumstances, values and the role that religion has had in shaping Tim Winton and influencing his writing.

It is a realistic group of stories written in his wonderful honest and laid back style. These include tales of his Dad, the church, and how religion had a big part in his life. The ocean and surfing, fishing, guns, books, accidents, Albany, the bush and seeing a film when he was 8 years’ old which changed his life – by mistake – Stanley Kubricks’s 2001, A Space Odyssey.

I really enjoyed reading this story of Tim Winton’s life. Very glad to have been let into his personal space and I will read further stories and re-read some of my favourite Tim Winton novels with a renewed enjoyment because of this memoir

The first story, which gives the book it’s title is a bit of a shock, telling how Tim as a 13-year-old would sneak out his father’s rifle and hide behind the bedroom curtain aiming at unknowing passer’s by. He was never caught and he outgrew the thrill of doing something forbidden. In telling this story, as with many in the book, he uses it as a vector for discussions or reflection on other issues, in this case, the isolation and angst of teenage years and gun laws here and abroad.

There are stories of motor vehicle accidents both observed and involving himself and a horrific one involving his father which led to hardship for the family and a long recovery for his father. These events helped to shape Tim’s life and are told not to provoke pity I think, but to give us some insight into what helped shape his personality.

The reader gets a strong sense of his integrity, being true to his values, love of family, Australia. Tim particularly champions preservation of the landscape and ocean, gives us insight into how these soothe and feed his spirit, yet he is unassuming in fame and success.

I very much enjoyed many of the stories, found some a bit dry and longwinded but overall felt very glad to have been let into his personal space and I will read further stories and re-read some of my favourite Tim Winton novels with a renewed enjoyment because of this memoir.