Excerpt from Breath by Tim Winton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio


A Novel

by Tim Winton

  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2008, 224 pages
    May 2009, 224 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Kathy Pierson

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

I sit there a minute and think of those poor bastards sanitizing the scene before we showed up. The mother sitting there, trying to choose one shame over another. The other kids downstairs cold with shock. The father out on the grass like a statue. Maybe another time, I say.

Well, she says. I rest my case.

We ride back to the shed in silence.

I hurtle on too long through the pounding submarine mist. End over end in my caul of bubbles until the turbulence is gone and I’m hanging limp in a faint green light while all the heat ebbs from my chest and the life begins to leach out of me. And then a white flash from above. Someone at the surface, swimming down. Someone to pull me up, drag me clear, blow air into me hot as blood. He spears down and stops short and I recognize my own face peering through the gloom, hesitating an arm’s length away, as if uncertain of how to proceed. My own mouth opens. A chain of shining bubbles leaks forth but I do not understand.

So I wake with a grunt on the sofa in the empty flat where afternoon sun pours through the sliding door. Still in uniform. The place smells of sweat and butter chicken. I get up, crack the door and smell the briny southerly. I take a piss, put the kettle on and snatch the didj up off the seagrass matting of the floor. Out on the balcony my herbs are green and upright. I tamp down the beeswax around the pipe mouth and clear my throat. Then I blow until it burns. I blow at the brutalist condos that stand between me and the beach. I blow at the gulls eating pizza down in the carpark and the wind goes through me in cycles, hot and droning and defiant. Hot at the pale sky. Hot at the flat, bright world outside.

Excerpted from Breath by Tim Winton. Copyright © 2008 by Tim Winton. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.