QBD Reviews: The Boy Behind the Curtain

Australia’s most beloved modern author, Tim Winton, invites his audience deep into his secret world with this new memoir.

Through a collection of reflective essays The Boy Behind the Curtain brings the man behind the famous novels into sharp focus, with his own history proving to be as interesting as one of his fictional works. The title refers to a habit a tween-Winton developed of playing sniper with his parent’s unloaded gun, hiding himself behind the curtains as he tracked neighbours. He recalls this sense of power that could have defined his life, had he not chosen a pen over weapons. This is just one of the character-defining stories he shares and although the stories are deeply personal, there is a universal quality to his writing. We’ve all had moments like A Space Odyssey at Eight and he captures the shared weight of dread associated with hospitals in his memories of living alongside one in In the Shadows of the Hospital. He captures Australian life perfectly in chapters such as A Walk at Low Tide and The Battle for Ningaloo Reef.

After reading this book I feel I know Winton almost as well as I know my friends. Now I know some of his life-defining childhood experiences, as well as his stance on important topics like religion, gun control and climate change. An enlightening and entertaining read that is a must for fans.

~Meagan, QBD Miranda

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