Read Shallows by Tim Winton Online


Shallows is set in a small whaling town in Western Australia, where land-based whaling has been a tradition for over 150 years. When Queenie Cookson decides to join an antiwhaling protest group, she defies her husband, her ancestry, and her community. Winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award in Australia, this eloquent and moving novel speaks with immediacy and passiShallows is set in a small whaling town in Western Australia, where land-based whaling has been a tradition for over 150 years. When Queenie Cookson decides to join an antiwhaling protest group, she defies her husband, her ancestry, and her community. Winner of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award in Australia, this eloquent and moving novel speaks with immediacy and passion of the conflict between the values of a closeknit, traditional society and the evolving mores of the wider world....

Title : Shallows
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781555971939
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shallows Reviews

  • Tom Flood
    2019-05-18 16:33

    This is the book that got me writing my own novel. I thought, he's younger than me, he's surfed round Albany, and he's already written 2 national award winners. I can have a go. A long time down the track and Winton has 22 books and is arguably Australia's most awarded writer. I have one, but this is still the book that got me going.An Augustan-style tale based around the whaling protests in Albany in the 70s, that were the flashpoint that started the fire that stopped whaling in Australia, paralleled with an emblematic convict yarn of hard settlement, this is still the best Winton book I've read. I moved on after the first 5 ('That Eye, The Sky') and never went back, though I was tempted by reports of 'The Riders' and 'Dirt Music'. There's been some silly remarks on this novel, particularly in The Washington Post, but it still loomed large in my imagination when I came to edit 'The Last Whale' some 25 years later, Chris Pash's non-fiction account of the same anti-whaling protests.A terrific effort.

  • Jay
    2019-05-01 00:16

    My first exposure to Tim Winton was with his post Cloudstreet works: The Rider, Dirt Music, Breath. After those three novels, I read Cloudstreet, the work that has become an Australian institution. I then decided to read his pre Cloudstreet novels (An Open Swimmer, Shallows, That Eye That Sky, In the Winter Dark), anticipating a less mature production. However, to my surprise, Winton’s voice in those first four works was surprisingly strong.Of the four, Shallows seems closer in style and tone to his later works. If, indeed, he seems somewhat less assured in the other three of his first novels, with Shallows, the descriptions of place are breathtaking, the dialogue, pitch perfect and the themes—death, loss, family, redemption—are played out with great reflective force.One new revelation hit me and that is Winton’s comedic vein--a gentle nod to a magic realism that re-emerges in "That Eye, the Sky" and "Cloudstreet". His characters are often overwhelmingly somber: they struggle with their pasts and are not always optimistic about their futures. They are common people leading uncommon common lives. Shallows ends on a vividly tragic note, leaving the reader with an image that jolts. But amid the somber and the jolting, images like that of Des Pustling losing his teeth from bloodless gums or of Daniel Coupar traveling from his home to Angelus on a tractor are light-hearted and playful. That playfulness is repeated in his other works.The plot does move slowly and some reviewers have found that movement a distraction. But Winton’s novels focus on the development of characters, entwining them in the Australian landscape and in the quirks of their families and of the other characters. The movement is in lives and not in actions. Winton’s novels are savored rather than gobbled.

  • Eric
    2019-05-03 00:23

    Winton's a wonderful writer and chronicler of all things Australian. Here he takes on whales, the whaling culture, the anti-whaling culture, the burdens of family (and history) and per usual, the mystery that is the rlationship between men and women. Not bad for 235 pages that could easily have been bloated to double that. I guess someone had to write a short novel about whaling. Unlike many of his compatriots, Winton writes strong and compelling female characters. Queenie Coupar Cookson in another one. She sees right through her past, her present and the false allure of the radical, potential future, and eventually comes to peace with it all. The final image, Queenie, hubby Cleve and a group of beaching whales, is a powerful and moving one. Good stuff.

  • Ilyhana Kennedy
    2019-04-20 19:29

    The conclusion of this novel left me with a sense of hopelessness. In fact, the novel felt like it has a pervading sense of gloom throughout. The many characters are intensely morose.Yes, it's a serious subject that deserves intense consideration, but without the usual Winton humour it has a feeling of drab flatness, no pathway to redemption, just resignation…and perhaps rightly so, since we are still defending the whales from human exploitation.The narrative is steeped in the historical and I found it difficult to hold the narrative together, something of a saga condensed.And yes, it is faithful to how things were in 1978.The little cameo paragraphs are beautiful. And the usual Winton immersion in the natural environment is ever present in this work.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-17 20:22

    He is good - that Tim Winton fellow. I hadn't heard of this book and neither had the friends I asked. Set in Angelus/Albany - whaling industry/protesters -3 different periods of history.He is a bit of a master. Quite a powerful book. Think I might have to read it again to take it all in. The whaling industry has long ceased in Albany (& they've figured out you can make money out of tourism) - but there is still the Japanese whaling - so this is still a very relevant book for these times. Well worth a read.

  • Samantha Bodie
    2019-05-03 19:19

    I decided to give this book 3 stars because, while I didn't particularly enjoy it, I think it still addresses some important and interesting issues that are still relevant today, such as environmental/animal activism and the questioning of tradition. This is the first Tim Winton book I have read, and I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy it, given the frequency with which some of his other titles appear on lists of the best Australian literature, and also because I was drawn in by the ominous one-word title. I didn't feel connected with the story or characters. Throughout, it felt as though I really was an outsider, or simply watching the story play out without really having any true understanding or inclusion in the character's lives. This disconnection was yet another source of disappointment for me, as I do feel that the issues covered in the story are very relevant to myself and to the world today. For example, the fishing and whaling industries are still - or more - damaging now, and there is still a conflict between tradition (humans have always eaten and used sea creatures and should continue to do so) and ethics (the fact that we continue to over-fish in the name of tradition and money despite knowing the negative impacts it is having on the environment and species). Being someone that cares about the environment a lot, I really wanted to feel some sort of emotional connection with the characters in 'Shallows', but on the contrary felt rather indifferent throughout. The story failed to get my heart racing, even though in my head, I wanted to find out what happened next, and my hopes for a positive outcome were left unfulfilled. Despite the way I feel about this book, I suspect that Winton may have wanted the readers to feel this way. The fact that I felt like a complete outsider with no understanding of the characters is exactly the kind of reception that the activists are given when they protest against whaling in Angelus; told that they have no understanding of the importance of the whaling industry in that town, and to 'go home... and let the workers alone'. This is a conflict of interests which reflects how I approached the book; I wanted to find many characters sympathetic to the cause I would support, but was left disappointed. In addition, I think Winton may have wanted readers to feel unemotional throughout because this reflects that many people do feel indifferent about environmental issues and it is very difficult to change people's minds, especially when the economy is so tightly linked to the industries that do the damage. Overall, I can't say I enjoyed reading this book. However, it is still worth reading both for its relevance to today's issues and for Winton's literary skill in making the reader feel a particular way, and maybe even to question their own beliefs.

  • Paul
    2019-04-22 21:11

    I've read four other books by this author and enjoyed them greatly. This book was a struggle to get through. I get why it won such critical praise its sparse, at times poetic, and tackles important issues of the time it was written, but for me it was very slow going. None of the characters were all that interesting, and even from the very beginning I kept wondering is this a part two of another book. The fleshing out of the characters- what little was provided happened in drips and drabs, and again they just weren't that interesting.I still like the author but for me his more current books are just more interesting.

  • Julia
    2019-05-02 20:13

    I don't know why I keep coming back to Tim Winton, when I've struggled and not enjoyed his style before. For some reason I thought the movie "The Shallows" was an adaptation of this novel and I wanted to see the movie. The movie now I've seen it, was fantastic, the novel not anything to do with the movie was very ordinary and failed to keep me interested.

  • Noelene
    2019-05-10 23:28

    Didn't hold my interest.

  • Lyndee
    2019-05-14 17:28

    Not my favourite tim Winton book, but a good read nonetheless

  • Caitlin
    2019-05-01 22:15

    I've recently been revisiting the earlier work of Australian authors - mainly to see the progression of their writing (and to convince myself with my own writing how much better it can all get.)Tim Winton used to write short, intense books where every single sentence is poetry - my favourite Winton is "In the Winter Dark" which is from a similar period to this one. I was immediately a little sad when this story began because I couldn't help thinking of this story in the context of his most recent book "Eerie" - hearing the love for the coast and those who work it in this story brought out the disillusioned writer who created the world of the burned-out activist hiding from nature decades later.I listened to this on audio because I have a new little person in my life who falls asleep in the car and this is a great opportunity to get some more reading done. Late last year I re-read "Cloudstreet" as an audio book and it made the experience even better. This time it was a little strange hearing it from a female narrator - for some reason I always think of Winton's voice as a very male one, even narrating female characters.In this case the narrator was good - she had to do a variety of different accents and characters - although I think some of the characters would have been better with the "voices" I would have provided.While it's not my favourite Winton book, it's still well worth visiting and revisiting because his writing is still amazing, even when it's not at his best.

  • Big Pete
    2019-04-26 00:12

    Possibly the best of Winton's pre-Cloudstreet novels. The plot of in the winter dark is stronger, and the prose is at his most distilled, but Shallows is strong on all fronts, and the prose is nothing short of a delight, often lyrical and sprawling yet at the same time tightly focused. It is to Winton's credit that this is counted as a major minor work and yet compared favourably to Moby-Dick. There are sequences of imagery nothing short of magnificent - especially when it comes to the sea, where Winton's understanding and fascination of the deeps delivers some of the most evocative portraits of the sea I have ever read.The characters are strong, and really spring to life - as does the whole town of Angelus. It's interesting how Winton creates a truly atmospheric setting in a novel that is only middling in length. He is, quite likely, Australia's finest novelist. Verdict: Pure, vintage Winton.

  • Victoria
    2019-05-01 21:38

    Tim is an amazing story teller. I do appreciate the brilliance of this writing, however for me there were just about 10 too many descriptions of killing the whales, gruesomely told - but there is no other way to describe whaling but in gruesome terms. Too many depressing stories of family shambles, illness, squabbles and more. I found nothing uplifting in this story. And, an author does not have to write uplifting stories, but for me I do like a bit of positivity in a story. This story is about whaling and the beginning of the end of it in Australia, small town gossip, family arguments, and social dysfunction. Winton refers frequently to bible verses and the conflict some characters find between scripture and reality. This has tickled my curiosity to research Winton's own faith - if any.

  • Sean Kennedy
    2019-05-18 21:11

    'Angelus' is a town often used by Winton in his stories, standing in for the town of Albany in Western Australia. Shallows parallels the history of this whaling town, in the last days of the whaling industry before it came to a close in the late seventies. Winton is superb at characterisation, and he shows the good and the bad of those characters on both sides of the whaling debate. He also shows an affinity for nature, and his prose dealing with the ocean and the whales are breathtaking - you can smell the salt tang of the Angelus air coming from the pages of this book.It is not an easy tale to digest - the open, devastating ending may not be satisfying for some readers - but it's not easy to forget either and will stay with you long after you close the book and put it back on the shelf.

  • Sandra
    2019-04-19 20:12

    I'd already made up my mind to re-read Tim Winton this year; something other than Dirt Road, which I've truly enjoyed, read several times and remember well, unlike the others.'Shallows' I bought new last month, and is likely to remain memorable for all it was a ruminative sort of book, deep and slow and pausing, looking back and forth at whim, building complex characters and their interaction and contemplations on life, in connection with community, the annual pattern of the whales and the harshly erratic weather.So the story felt minimal, yet there was compulsion to keep reading, once the change of gear had been mastered (which was not hard to do).

  • Clinton
    2019-04-23 20:33

    Not SureIf one is not sure you like a book after finishing are probably looking for reasons to like it out of loyalty to the author after being disappointed. After Cloudstreet & Dirt Music, one just 'expects' the things from Tim Winton that he does so well. Story, plot, and unbelievable descriptive imagery to enhance his wonderful characters.Shallows has an average story (that could have been SO much better considering the era and topic (whale hunting for goodness do you dull that topic?), no plot, and is saved only by great characterization (even though they are all unlikeable).It's not a dog...but it's no diamond.

  • Kermit19
    2019-05-18 20:34

    This was a very dark novel, typical of some of Winton's writing. Set in a town called Angelus which two chapters in I figured was actually Albany. Its about whaling in the seventies and the people that have lived and worked there over the years. It was mainly about the struggle to keep the town afloat with the ending of the cannery and the whale station. Your typical towns people, the ones that plod along, the money hungry ones and ones that think they own the town. I have to say some of the characters where a bit depressing. The one think I did like was Winton's descriptive writing.

  • Chantel
    2019-05-17 23:12

    Im a big fan of Tim Winton but this book realy dident do a thing for me. Probebly the most boring book of his ive read. i finished it tho just out of loyalty i suppose but there certainly are MUCH better Winton books out there. I guess it was his second book he ever wrote so he had to of started from somewhere... The writing was fantastic as always dont get me wrong but the story lacked alittle in storyline....

  • Kathryn Shaw
    2019-04-19 18:25

    Love this book. For the epic immediate decsription and u-turn into narrative resembling stage directions. Characters were equally intensely depicted, but needed a longer novel. Fermented too quickly, but still, great. Peter Carey and Annie Proulx are my comparisons but he's the tragic equivalent of the latter. The Whale as a character makes up for any shortfalls, loved spending time with that. Feel like it must have been very progressive/contemporary in 1985.

  • Glen
    2019-04-23 20:27

    I really liked Winton's book "The Riders" but this one was just a little too relentlessly depressing. Some interesting characters and the plight of the whales is well-drawn, but the connection between the historical journals and the relationship between Daniel Coupar and granddaughter Queenie was more hinted at than specified, and that was a little dissatisfying. A good but flawed first novel.

  • Bea
    2019-04-22 21:23

    It took a while for the characters to become real enough to me for me to be able to remember who was who. This is a story of ordinary people who live ordinary lives confronting the lack of purpose in the lives that they have led. It is also the story of the whaling industry that founded an obscure Australian town which gave birth to the ordinary people who populated it.

  • Susan
    2019-05-11 22:17

    I love Tim Winton but this one was hard going. Very little plot and it jumped around from one year to another and back again in a way I found confusing. The relationship between Queenie and her husband Cleve was what kept me reading. And the author's brilliant way with words. His later books are much better.

  • Tony
    2019-05-19 21:35

    In the context of Tim Winton's other books that I've read, this book is a good example of the potential that he showed as a young and emerging writer. The characters are interesting as always, even if the plot isn't as much. If you are a fan of Winton, read it. If you are looking to get into his stuff start elsewhere like Cloudstreet or Dirt Music.

  • Alex
    2019-05-08 16:11

    Sometimes I hold the writing as nothing short of an astonishment, only to conclude that the book is about nothing else. There is certainly an emotionally profound tone to it all, but no logic or intelligible content that I can discern. But then I prefer an Anthony Trollope to a Virginia Woolf.

  • Greta
    2019-05-16 21:33

    Shallows is Tim Winton's 1st book, and barely shows the excitement his later book, The Riders, offers. Each story about Australia written by a native like Tim Winton is worth while to me since I remain curious about this continent and it's people.

  • Rachel England-Brassy
    2019-04-26 23:31

    I know some may think me sacrilegious, but honestly this is the last time I EVER try and read a #TimWinton book. Lovely chap he may be, but god his story telling (for me) is less than readable, sadly.

  • Sue
    2019-05-03 17:33

    Quite a good book,although I felt it went on a bit. having said that, tho, I felt it stay with me for a long time afterwards. Personally, I thought it was not one of his best - a bit boring at times.

  • James
    2019-05-03 00:37

    I struggled through this one a little. I didn't connect to the characters as much as I'd have liked. But the poetry of the ending was sublime. Winton is not only a master story teller, he's a true poet as well.

  • Melissa Burtt
    2019-05-18 21:15

    My love/hate relationship with Tim Winton continues...I loved parts of this book and I hated the end. Some tangents didn't go far enough and some made no sense to me at all. I do love Tim's 'word' style in this story though.

  • Sally
    2019-04-19 17:19

    I was disappointed with this book and couldn't get into it, then was left confused at the end, thinking "is that it?".Not as evocative of its setting as the other Tim Winton books I have read and enjoyed.