Breath by Tim Winton – You don’t need to surf to read it

Read Breath by Tim Winton on the weekend.  It took all of two hours and I didn’t find any subleties – so it was an entertaining read, an easy read.

Breath by Tim Winton - a boys coming of age

Breath by Tim Winton - a boys coming of age

While there was a lot of copy about surfing, the premise of conquering that which scares you was a bit redundant.  However, even though I live in Ontario, Canada and there’s no surfing here, the storyline was enough that I was engrossed.

Eva, who is a bitter woman, out for only herself and her autoerotic fixation, is a bit much and a bit unbelievable.  As much as I liked the writing style I didn’t like the character development.  It seemed contrived and I didn’t understand how the protagonist and his friend were enamoured of the super surfing dude (I’ve already forgotten his name).

Pikelet, the main character, is embarrased by his apple-pie older parents and takes risks, surfing by himself and getting involved with the mean spirited, selfish Eva – while his best friend and his Idol (albeit a false one) are away.

The result is one messed-up adulthood and death (of who?  I’m not saying).

Pikelet’s best friend could be by far the best character in Winton’s Breath – he has the background that would do well aspiring to something – regardless of the outcome.  However, he seems like a filler character with the only purpose of egging Pikelet on.

Would I read it again – knowing what I know now?  Absolutely!

Tim Winton Biography

Windsor Star Review about Breath

For the record, I still haven’t completed The Book of God and Physics – it’s not such an easy read.  I’m about 1/3 of the way through and feel as though it is indeed trying to be a Dan Brown book, with twists and turns, and yet I either a) haven’t found the connection, b) am too dense to understand the physics, or c) just way out of my comfort zone.

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Before Starting The Book of God and Physics

I’ve chosen to read a book that is completely out of my usual genre of reading styles this summer for the U of T Bookstore Summer Reading Series – The Book of God and Physics, by Enrique Joven.  I am not a trained critic when it comes to literature in any variety, but I am an average Joe Schmo reader.  Love it or hate it – I’ll put it all here – and I want your comments and your own reviews.  I’m always up for a debate!

The Full Volnick Manuscript in PDF

The Full Volnick Manuscript in PDF

To be honest, I know nothing about physics and at a first glance of the back cover the storyline of this book seems to ring of The DaVinci Code.  I did indeed read Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons and enjoyed them, so I’m hoping this book will be less techy and more storyline.

Before I delve into this book I wanted to find out more about this Voynich Manuscript itself, since I had never heard of it.  I found out:

  • It has 6 sections with almost every page containing an image:  herbal, astronomical, biological, cosmological, pharmaceutical and recipes.
  • The code has never been cracked, even by world reknowned code crackers, and there’s a theory that it is gibberish.
  • The writer of the original manuscript is unknown.
  • The Voynich Manuscript was named after the person who originally discovered it and currently resides at Yale University
  • It has 272 pages and is thought to be a book about early medicine
  • Thought to be written in the 15th or 16th century

So if no one has cracked the code I am interested to see what Joven writes about the Voynich Manuscript and I wonder why someone would want to create a storyline around it.   Tomorrow I’ll look up some of the characters in the book.

Then I’ll dive in…wish me luck!

BTW…If you are interested in literary criticism there’s a great site to teach you how to be a book critic.