Malcolm Forbes

Flying the Nest



Picador 424pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Eyrie, Tim Winton’s 11th novel, features a protagonist who, like his creator, is ‘a product of the Sixties’, an environmental activist and a resident of Western Australia. With luck, the comparisons end there. Specifically, Tom Keely was an environmental activist before falling victim to a smear campaign. His career over (‘He was free and unencumbered. Which is to say alone and unemployed’), his reputation in ruins and his marriage in tatters, Keely is now a recluse on the top floor of an ugly high-rise, a ‘classic shitbox’ called the Mirador. Hangovers and self-loathing plague his days. In a rare moment of clarity it occurs to him – it ‘winked like an oil light on the dash’ – that he is losing his mind.

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