img_1398Dirt Music by Tim Winton is a character-rich, character-driven novel, with lots of plot and an equally strong sense of place.  What a read!  It’s written in short little unmarked sections–little moments that patch together the characters of Georgie Jutland and Lu Fox.

The first sentence of the novel, about Georgie:  “One night in November, another that had somehow become morning while she sat there, Georgie Jutland looked up to see her pale and furious face reflected in the window.”

Here’s the first one about Lu:  “Out in the shed with the dog at his shins he leaves the boat smelling of bleach.”

Dirt music:  “Anything you could play on a verandah.  You know, without electricity.”  But of course it’s more than that.  Tim Winton is an Australian writer, and that’s where this novel takes place.  There’s dirt and weather everywhere.  Rosy dirt, silt, and dust.  Opposing weather systems and typhoons and cyclones.  Killer heat and ocean and survival.

One of my favorite passages: 

“She only knew that love was impossible. It arrived and moved on like the weather and it defied pursuit. Not just romance–any kind of love. The emotion itself was promiscuous and not to be trusted. She’d thought all this before and failed to learn from it. The story of her life.”

Read it before the movie comes out in September (Rachel Weisz and Colin Farrell).