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The Turning: Stories by Tim Winton

The Turning: Stories (2005)

by Tim Winton

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7721819,723 (4.01)27
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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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Tim Winton's "The Turning" is an excellent albeit uneven thematically related collection of stories. The best are five, worst are around two or three but the bad certainly outweigh the good. The stories revolve around the lives of different characters who are either in relationship or grew up in the coastal Australian town of Angelus. The first half is near flawless and as the book progresses it looses its momentum. The best stories are those that are impactful yet also self-contained, which is the challenge of structuring a book in this way. "Aquifer" is the most widely reprinted for good reason and stands on it's own as a man's recollection of his suburban neighborhood takes a sinister twist. The stories that lost me were the ones that relied too much on character to drive the plot of the narrative and although they added to the milieu of the book, ones like "Fog" or "Boner McPharlin's Moll" they lacked immediacy and I found it hard to care about the story insomuch as it was a story and really only gleaned additional insight into other characters in the collection. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winton, Timprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bower, HumphreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johansson, Ingersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marano, Giuseppesecondary 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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