by Tim Winton
**Winner 2009 Miles Franklin Award **
Pikelet and Loonie are two friends who will do anything for a dare. As young kids they would dive into the river and and hang on tight to tree roots until they saw spots. As adolescents they graduate from the river to the surf along the wild Western Australian coast and discover a new kind of danger. Out in the ocean they feel truly free, even immortal, as they take greater and greater risks in the water. When they meet the enigmatic Sando and come into his thrall, the boys test themselves in bigger and wilder waves, seeking an experience to top all the others.
Together they form a maverick trio, with a discipline and outlook all their own. They surf secret breaks, ride unimaginable storm swells and paddle to crazy shark-infested reefs miles out to sea, pushing each other to the farthest limits of courage, endurance and sanity. But the bond between them begins to warp and the game changes. When Pikelet finds himself on the outer he gets to know Sando’s wife, Eva and he discovers just how far you can travel in a single breath.
This is a story about the damage you do to yourself when you’re young and think you’re immortal.
In his first novel in seven years, Tim Winton has achieved a new level of mastery.
Age Book of the Year – Fiction Award, 2008
Indie Awards, 2008
Surf Culture Award – Australian Surfing Awards, 2009
Audiofile Earphones Award, 2009
Miles Franklin Award, 2009
Commonwealth Writers’ Prize: South East Asia and the South Pacific Region, 2009
Christina Stead Prize for Fiction (NSW Premier’s Literary Award), 2009
Nielsen BookData Bookseller’s Choice Award, 2009
Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction (Victorian Premier’s Literary Award), 2009
- Year of Publication: 2008
- Genre: Literature
- Audience: Adult