How strange it was to see men doing something beautiful, something pointless and elegant.
The book goes on to examine the nature of how our selves cohere and harden, especially at moments when we may turn out to be either ordinary (like most) or extraordinary. The idea of 'breath' runs through the novel, from the tragic opening scene onwards. Winton's writing is always crisp and evocative, capturing the unforgettable and unforgotten physical exhilaration of young boys. The whole, relatively short, novel is itself an exhilarating and sometimes breathless ride through damage and regret.
See the author's Breath micro-site here, with MP3 readings, links to reviews and more. Below, the official trailer.