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The Turning: Stories by Tim Winton

The Turning: Stories (2005)

by Tim Winton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8211716,241 (4.02)26

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Read this collection of short stories as part of my MA degree. Some I liked, some I didn’t.

I appreciate the way certain stories are linked, with one character in particular who crops up numerous times.

Thing I dislike the most is the author’s decision to present dialogue without quotation marks. Found this irritating and at times confusing. Never been a fan of writers who break style or grammar rules. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Apr 14, 2017 |
A collection of short stories. Started in summer of 2008, got halfway through, enjoyed immensely but put it down and went on to others.
Now finished the last half in one go, tonight, August 7 2009. And I wonder what took me so long to come back to it. My god he is a wonderful and effortless writer. He has a gift, and he gives it to us. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Tim Winton is a beloved Australian author. I have only read one other novel by him (Breath), and I can certainly see a pattern emerging.

He writes about life in Australia. It’s gritty. It’s real. You can actually feel yourself immersed in the culture and people of another time and another place (for those of us who did not grow up in Australia). There is no ‘rose-tinted’ filter to his stories, yet I did get a sense of some nostalgia and some regret.

The Turning is a collection of short stories all centring around a small fictional town in Western Australia. The stories are all mostly vaguely connected and work well as a novel, but could also be stand-alone as well. He tells the tale of the people of Angelus focusing on one character in particular – Victor Lang. I think Victor featured in nine of the seventeen stories. He is a damaged man trapped in his adolescent past – and Winton allows us to witness some very important moments in his life through the eyes of his mother, his father, his wife, even a girl who has a crush on him in school.

Along with Vic there are some other very memorable characters: An abused woman who develops and interest in the Christian couple who recently moved into the neighbourhood; a strange relationship between the school bad boy and the smart yet ostracised girl; and a girl with a strawberry scar.

It was a good read. Fans of Tim Winton will love it. The Turning was originally published in 2005 and has won numerous Australian Literary awards. In 2013 it was made into a movie starring Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving and a host of other acclaimed Auzzie actors.

So why only 3.5 stars? As well written and poignant as this book is, I don’t think it is one I will be tempted to read again. Having said that, I think I will undoubtedly read more of Winton’s work.
( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
Worth a read with concentration
  Annabel1954 | May 13, 2014 |
In a series of compelling short stories variously connected by time, place and character, Tim Winton's The Turning explores the trajectory of ordinary lives irrevocably altered by disappointment, tragedy, struggle and the yearning for something different...something more.

Set in Western Australia, the stories feature residents with ties to the fictional coastal town of Angelus. Though Winton shifts back and forth during the lifetime of of one man, Vic, who appears in nine of the seventeen stories, the stories begin in the 1970's.

The stories in The Turning focus on moments of change for the characters, sometimes as a result of a significant event or deliberate decision but more often simply as a result of circumstance, a chance meeting, or a seemingly trivial act. There is a strong thread of fatalism through the stories, the idea that a persons journey is predestined. Winston's characters are largely resigned to their past and their future, any hope for escape, for change, glimmering just out of reach.

I found Winton's child and teenage characters the most affecting, empathising with their confusion at changes thrust upon them, pitying the erosion of their innocence and dreams. The adult male characters are generally grimly working class, from fishermen to abattoir workers. The women are often mothers, though not always housewives. The Turning is often bleak and depressing as Winton exposes domestic violence, addiction and corruption.

Though nominally a collection of short stories, I feel The Turning is essentially an unusually structured novel and as such it is best to consider the individual stories as chapters, though they are capable of standing on their own. The connections are sometimes subtle but they are there for the discerning reader to discover, ensuring continuity and flow. The writing is effortless, eloquent and emotive, capturing the essence of place and people without unnecessary flourish.

Though first published in 2005, The Turning has been republished to coincide with this month's (September 2013) movie adaption release in Australian cinema's starring Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Miranda Otto and Hugo Weaving among others. The Turning is moving and compelling reading and I will be interested to see how it translates to the big screen. ( )
  shelleyraec | Sep 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winton, TimAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bower, HumphreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After five years of high school the final November arrives and leaves as suddenly as a spring storm.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743279794, Paperback)

Set on a coastal stretch of Western Australia, Tim Winton's stunning collection of connected stories is about turnings of all kinds -- changes of heart, slow awakenings, nasty surprises and accidents, sudden detours, resolves made or broken. Brothers cease speaking to each other, husbands abandon wives and children, grown men are haunted by childhood fears. People struggle against the weight of their own history and try to reconcile themselves to their place in the world. With extraordinary insight and tenderness, Winton explores the demons and frailties of ordinary people whose lives are not what they had hoped.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:38 -0400)

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Here are turnings of all kinds - changes of heart, nasty surprises, slow awakenings, sudden detours - where people struggle against the terrible weight of the past and challenge the lives they've made for themselves. Beautifully crafted, and as tender as they are confronting, these elegiac stories examine the darkness and frailty of ordinary people and celebrate the moments when the light shines through.… (more)

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