Australian literary legend Tim Winton takes a grim look at a man who has lost his way in his new book, Eyrie. Tom Keely’s reputation is in ruins. And that’s the upside. Divorced and unemployed, he’s lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he’s retired hurt and angry. He’s done fighting the good fight, and well past caring. But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he’s not safe from entanglement. All it takes is an awkward encounter in the lobby. A woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he’s never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself. What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting. Inhabited by unforgettable characters, Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.
John Purcell from Booktopia says: While reading Tim Winton’s latest novel, Eyrie, I couldn’t help thinking about Charlotte Wood’s Animal People, Zadie Smith’s NW and to a lesser extent, Julian Barnes’ Sense of an Ending. All four books have been published in the last five years. Each chronicles the lives of people making do within a society they have inherited. Each book is despairing of the turn the western world has taken. Each searches for some sign that all is not lost. Eyrie takes things one step further. All is lost in Tim Winton’s book. There is no hope whatsoever. he backdrop to Winton’s despair is the West Australian government’s acquiescence to the needs of mining companies. His protagonist Tom Keely, a onetime prominent local environmentalist, is a defeated man. Read more.
The Monthly says: Eyrie (Penguin; $45) is Cloudstreet upended. Instead of the chaotic mansion with its two mismatched families in Winton’s glorious earlier novel – Henry James’s “house of fiction” at its most raucously congested – the setting here is a gloomy high-rise, laughingly named the Mirador. The occupants of the tiered flats live in sullen, depressed isolation, shunning each other when they coincide in the lift, pondering suicide when they peer down from walkways decorated with “coralline aggregations of dove shit”.
Timeout says: Eyrie offers a portrait of Western Australia where the absurd wealth of the mining boom has seen the less fortunate forgotten about and environmental concerns hushed up.
Journalist Hamish McDonald: “Tim Winton’s ‘Eyrie’: will please his fans through rich descriptions & powerful social commentary. Gotta say though, ordinary ending.”