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.

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.