I had two Tim Winton books to enjoy this week, I felt rich! Better yet, I now have an Australian source who is going to look for the remaining Winton books to complete my collection at hopefully a cheaper price!
First off, Blueback. It is described as an adult fable. It deals with a single mom and her son on the Western Australia coastline. It was a short read and it disappointed. I loved the setup, but it dissolved into a rather preachy ecological lecture on global warming and the overharvesting of the ocean. I can't disagree, but felt it a bit pushy from one of my favorite authors. I couldn't figure out who he was trying to reach: is whaling still a problem in Australia? Or was he going for the women-who-poach-abalone demographic? Just sort of disappointing.
Minimum of Two was an ordinary paperback that I spent an ungodly amount of money on, as it is out of print. I feel like it needs its own safety deposit box. However, once I began I was not disappointed, it was flawless. It is similar to his collection of short stories, The Turning. But this selection is a bit different. All but two of the shorts deal with the same family, and as always he shows differing viewpoints of different events and times. It starts with a young boy dealing with his parents divorce, then the other stories are from the standpoint of the father at different points in his life: dating, newlywed, out of work, dealing with his father's illness, etc. They aren't in any chronological order, so it takes reading them all to see the complete story of the family. I like that there are gaps left unexplained so you can ponder what actually happened.
It's never a happily ever after story with Winton, and this too has it's sadness and poignancy. What I liked though was how, as I already know how fast life can change, as an individual I can only look back and forward in my own life. In this set of stories, I could see his life, backwards and forwards, and see what the main character couldn't see: all his options and choices and how they turned out. Great book!!!!