peteg's blog - noise - books - 2014 10 18 Winton LandsEdge

Tim Winton: Land's Edge.

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Rooting around Amazon for something to pad my order up to $35 (didn't it used to be $25 for free shipping?), I remembered this one. The cheapest that BookFinder came up with was $4.25 total from Thriftbooks, trading on Abebooks as Motor City Books. Go figure. Anyway, they are in Detroit and it took about a week to get here. This was the original, 1993, coffee-table edition from Pan Macmillan on Balfour Street in Chippendale. Lanfranchi's shadow looms large indeed. What I ended up buying from Amazon, more about later.

Here Winton reminisces, or simply lives, his life on the wild coastline of Western Australia. We get the childhood summer holidays at the beach shack, a couple of the perilous situations and how they happened, the dreams they became. It's more of the same from him, I guess, but unfortunately not as much as one might hope for at a brief 48 pages, followed with about the same in photographs (by Trish Ainslie and Roger Garwood). Or perhaps it isn't: this one is a bit quieter, and the more powerful for it being directly personal, than his fiction that canvasses similar spaces (e.g. Breath). I've got to wonder how much of this imaged Australia still exists; one imagines the entire coastline is full of mining rigs and lonely container-based settlements housing fly-in fly-out Perth suburbanites. The weirdo hermits and the roo hunting families are surely unwelcome and/or uneconomic in booming Westralia.