THE SHEPHERD’S HUTTim WintonPan Macmillan Tim Winton’s new novel, The Shepherd’s Hut, is a bit of a conundrum. It exhibits many of the well-known traits of his earlier works: representations of hurting men and bruised women; working-class identity; high lyricism and deeply vernacular dialogue intertwined; a sense of place as much more than simply landscape, but a living, breathing reality; a brooding on the experience of home, and sense of a lack of belonging. And like Winton’s earlier works, there is tight narrative control and a contemplative probing: of sin, death, mercy, love, longing, responsibility and sacrifice. But in this novel these traits are exhibited in extreme forms, raising a number of extra challenges for readers. What, say, will readers of Winton’s work make of the internal monologue of a small, skateboarding, fist-first young man of 17, introduced through his defiant internal monologue? "Say I hit your number, called you up, you’d wonder what the f..k, every one of...

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