Monday, 13 January 2014

Eyrie Review

By Tim Winton

Without meaning to, I keep reading books about loners who fuck everything up even though they logically know better.  I find that plot (if you could call it that) excruciatingly dull.

The first half of this book was annoying because I wanted to slap him.  The character, not Winton (he seems like a decent bloke).  Then, suddenly, like headlights over the crest, came a story, and the book went from being the diary of a whingey cuntface to a page-turning love story with an added crime sub-plot.  It was terrific but for some reason the publishers forgot to print the last few chapters so I don't know what happened.

What's that you say?  It was meant to stop there?  The fuck?  What is it with these modern writers stopping stories instead of finishing them?  Oh, it's The Sopranos all over.  I watched that fucking show for years and they didn't finish it.  I'll never forgive them.

I mean, like, come on.  Can you imagine Homer giving us The Iliad, and the horse is wheeled into the Trojan camp and the night is falling and Homer says, "I'll just stop it there and let people come to their own conclusions?"

Shakespeare's writing Macbeth.  The Dunsinane woods are moving, Macduff is on his way, and Shakespeare's stage note is, "Bring down the curtains!"

Authors:  Unless your name is Raymond Carver, finish your fucking stories.  Thank you.

I give Eyrie a C-.

Next baby due this week.  This one's a boy.  I wanted the name 'Ulysses' but the missus said no.


Cath said...

It seems to me to be a combination of literary wankery, or disinterestedness, to leave a story flapping about untethered like that. I can understand stories where there are some things left unsaid, or part of poetic licence that the story is not neatly finished. Frankly some stories thare are "neatly finished" are incredibly unrepresentative of real life that they are twee to the extreme. I stopped reading Tim Winton stories a while ago, because the characters are always so tortured and pained that it was not an enjoyable experience. Not that I want happy happy chick-lit, but, it made me wonder how awful his life is that he writes about such unhappy things CONSTANTLY.

Then again, I accidentally just read some chick-lit (yes, an accident), and finished it off after spending a weekend with my dying friend. Unfortunately, the lead character in the story, had the same name as one of my progeny, who was dying of cancer. Too depressing.

By the way, post more often... and keep us updated of your growing brood. My vote for a boys name has always been Hector... the only character of worth in Mythology (Paris is a pussy...).

Perseus said...

Hector was on the literary-themed name list but was also rejected by Andromeda. As was George (Orwell/Byron), Gordon (Byron/Comstock), Homer (as in Iliad), Perseus, Jason (Argonauts) and Winston (..Smith, from 1984) (Lewd Bob also said of Winston - "He'll get beaten up at school. In fact, I might beat him up.")

I really liked Cloudstreet.

I'm sorry your friend is dying.

squib said...

I watched Twin Peaks forever and still don't know who killed Laura Palmer. My favourite non-ending is Gogol's story 'Ivan Fyodorovich Shponka and His Aunt' where the story just stops and there's a note that the housekeeper used the second half of the story as pie paper

I am reading Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King. I really like it even though a little voice left over from uni days keeps tut-tutting at the whole civilized/savage dichotomy and also I am absolutely opposed to blowing frogs up

All the best with the new bubs

Perseus said...

Did you miss episode 12? It was the soul of Bob who had taken over Laura Palmer's Dad's body. Or something.

Also, I've never heard of that book, but I do love frog explosions so maybe I'll give Bellow a third shot.

squib said...

Oh. I must be the last viewer to find that out

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Was Winton banging on about the ocean again?

Perseus said...

He sure was, Ramon, though he managed to wait until page 8 this time... "The sea beyond the breakwater was flat, the island suspended in brothy haze. An orange pilot boat surged past the moles and out into the open water, twin plumes of diesel smoke flagging from its stacks, the wake like a whitening wound on the skin of the sea."

That's more about boats, but we have a brothy haze and a skin on the sea, just to remind us that it's Winton.

Melba said...

I just re-read this for the second time. I worked out where the wet patch on his carpet came from.

How's the new bub? Congratulations, you got yourself a brood now.

I fucken hate word verification.

Melba said...

Meaning I just re-read EYRIE. Not for the second time, just re-read once, so now have read twice.

Perseus said...

Was it the kid? Or was it his illness juices?

Perseus said...

New bub is good. He'll grow up to be a great Spartan warrior (due to his resilience to pain and injury caused by the 18-month old continually inflicting such). She tried to give him his dummy last night and nearly took his eye out.

Melba said...

Illness juices, love it. No. It was the kid. Don't know how I missed it the first time.

So great about children, esp new bub. Well, he will be a warrior, never doubted that. And the girl giving him her dummy THAT'S SO NICE, luckily rubbery and soft not like a pencil hey? Happy to see your occasional reviews here, they are fantastic. Stay well P. x

Alex said...

You do have to watch out for that a bit. In order to try and avoid sibling jealousy, my brother encouraged his two year old to be super affectionate with her little brother (almost like a pet). Unfortunately this meant she was always wanting to pick him up and carry him around. I'm slightly amazed he survived.

On the flip side, they are pretty close siblings.

Oh well, all's well that ends well, I guess.

When I was younger and watching a lot of European and Asian films, one of the things I liked was that many of them didn't bother with an epilogue/denouement (as I believe the frogs call it), unlike every yank film did at the time (and probably still does). Some of the endings were fairly abrupt and left some ambiguity, but still worked quite well, for my tastes.

Having said that, you can't cut off the actual pay-off to the story. That's just being silly.

Melba said...

I myself like ambiguity, and don't like all the spaces filled in with answers. The more space, the more you can imagine. But within reason.

Whatcha reading now, Perseus?