27 January 2008

Tim Winton, Blueback, 1997

In the waters of the reefs near his Queensland home, 10 year-old Abel Jackson encounters an old grouper, a creature that inspires his sense of wonder and who becomes a ‘friend’ he keeps returning to as he passes through school, university and out into the world as a marine biologist. Blueback is a pearl-like fable for kids and adults; Winton doesn’t put a foot wrong, and he pitches a well-aimed ecological message to wake people up to Australia’s natural heritage that is both taken for granted and casually endangered. A great place to start reading Tim Winton, it reminded me of Peter Benchley’s The Girl of the Sea of Cortez in its intent, only this is far better.  PY

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