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  • Published: 25 June 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571346
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99


Tim Winton's heart-stopping, exhilarating Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.

Tom Keely's reputation is in ruins. And that's the upside.

Divorced and unemployed, he's lost faith in everything precious to him. From his seedy high-rise flat Keely looks down at a society from which he's retired hurt and angry, well past caring. But he cannot avoid entanglement with the neighbours: a woman from his past, a boy the likes of which he's never met before. Two strangers leading a life beyond his experience and into whose orbit he falls despite himself.

What follows is heart-stopping, funny, exhilarating and haunting. Eyrie asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing.

'A superb tale of disillusionment and redemption, loss and beauty, this is Winton in top form ... He has rarely been funnier.' Michael Williams, The Guardian (Australia)

'An absurdly good writer ... This is a fascinating, thought-provoking book.' Publishers Weekly (US)
‘Outstanding . . . From the opening pages you know you are in the hands of a master.’ Weekend Australian
Eyrie is breathtaking, honest, provocative and brilliant.’ West Australian

  • Published: 25 June 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143571346
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Tim Winton

Tim Winton is the author of 30 books. His work has been widely translated and adapted for film, television, stage and radio. He lives in Western Australia.

Also by Tim Winton

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Praise for Eyrie

Outstanding ... From the opening pages you know you are in the hands of a master. The writing is just effortlessly great.

Stephen Romei, Weekend Australian

Tim Winton is an outstanding writer, whose distinctive originality has never been more evident than in his newest novel, Eyrie ... A rich and engrossing story, as intense and exciting as anything Winton has yet written. It's rich in black humour while at the same time has elements of a crime thriller ... This is Winton at his most intense and haunting best. Unmissable.

David Gaunt, Bookseller & Publisher

A work of toughened wisdom ... Winton's layered portrayal of [Keely] is brilliant. He is a character sharply at odds with the myth of male ego that governs a good part of Australian culture ... Eyrie is a fine work by any standard. It tackles myths of prosperity and success in a way that is not always comfortable, but that stirs deep thought. It is rich in compassion and affectionate towards the unlovely. It has a strong belief that no journey ends at the halfway mark. Eyrie is a novel for which our culture has been in urgent need.

Michael McGirr, The Age

Imagine one of the flamboyantly damaged narrators of Hamsun's fiction transported in time and space, from a park bench in 1890s Oslo to a dilapidated high-rise apartment in present-day Fremantle, and you have Eyrie in a nutshell. Here is the same mordant comedy, the same antagonism directed at the idiocies of the contemporary moment. Its narrator shares all the stuttering consciousness and variable mental weather of Hamsun's great creations. But this is no pastiche. Winton has adapted these materials and built something new ... However elaborate your analysis of Eyrie, the novel stands, like all of the author's work, on its ability to marry sophistication and simplicity. Page by page it is an engrossing novel; the reader is moved and enraged in equal measure by the plain human story of Keely and his beautiful, battered adoptive family ... And, as ever, it is couched in the prose of a writer on whom nothing is lost, for whom the tiniest local detail bears an epiphanic charge.

Geordie Williamson, Weekend Australian

A superb tale of disillusionment and redemption, loss and beauty, this is Winton in top form ... The narrative is as propulsive as anything he has written before ... In Tom Keely, Winton has created a narrator whose misfortune and fury is matched by a merciless and mordant wit, and Winton has rarely been funnier .

Michael Williams, The Guardian (Australia)

Eyrie is breathtaking. It is difficult to simultaneously breathe and read this book, such is the intensity and grit in its pages ... Winton is a master craftsman of words and Eyrie is no exception - honest, provocative and brilliant.

William Yeoman, West Australian

Tim Winton creates visual tableaus with words as precise as indigenous dot paintings ... Eyrie is a disturbing and confronting look at how we treat those on the margins of society. The drama and decaying beauty are delivered without any apparent effort by Winton's unaffected yet distinctly Australian voice.

Herald Sun

Winton's powerful, evocative prosed draws the reader into the world of his flawed, endearing and completely credible characters ... Quintessentially Australian storytelling that enthrals.

Maureen Eppen, Good Reading

A highly accomplished work ... Winton has a way of plunging you deep into the lives of his flawed and sometimes exasperating characters to the point where you care about them more than you should ... The wonder, complexity, humour and tragedy of fallible, ordinary lives are encapsulated in Eyrie in what is for Winton an uncharacteristically suspenseful story, almost thriller-like in its intensity.

Simon Smart, The Drum, ABC

What Dostoevsky might have come up with if he found himself destitute in Fremantle. But it rewards the effort with a searing commentary on contemporary Australian life ... An instant classic.


As always, it's Winton's gift with words that keeps you turning the pages.

GQ Australia

A narrative very much of our time and place ... A gripping, accomplished novel in which a very fine writer balances the imaginative freedoms of story with a scarifying assessment of the way we live now.

Brian Matthews, Australian Book Review

Tim Winton's latest novel slickly dovetails a story of personal struggle, family dramas and criminal violence with hefty themes of class disparity, economic greed and environmental degradation. It's also a ripper read ... Eyrie is gritty and gripping – a literary thriller with an absorbing story that is at times challenging and haunting. There are passages that demand re-reading because of the beautiful eloquence with which they depict both the everyday and the seemingly indescribable; the tender vision of imagined death is heart-piercing.

Suzie Keen, IN Daily

Tim Winton's Doris is a gem ... The characterisations are a joy. The sense of place, and senses stimulated are pure Winton ... Eyrie, with so much of the seedy side of town, is a good example of what Winton calls 'marinating in the sounds and lives of other people'. How it then translates to Winton's mastery as a storyteller is what we get to enjoy.

Lyn Mills, Canberra Times

The best novels illuminate both the hidden recesses of the human heart and the inner workings of the society their characters inhabit, and Eyrie has a place in this great tradition.

Judith White, cometherevolution.com.au

Eyrie is a dark – and often darkly funny – rewriting of the central preoccupations of Winton's earlier novels: the volatile workings of family, the nature of mercy, the possibility of redemption ... The novel counters the dystopias of greed and self-congratulation, being on the side of the unlovable and of mercy.

Lyn McCredden, Sydney Review of Books

Winton's reputation precedes him, but this tale of drama and decaying beauty delivered without apparent effort in an unaffected yet distinctly Australian voice delivers, on every level.

Townsville Bulletin

Winton marries an ordinary life with moral seriousness to great effect.

Australian Financial Review

Compassionate, heartfelt and vintage Winton.

Thuy On, Big Issue

Winton's inimitable greatness is to take us into his fictional worlds with such conviction that we are there with him, totally immersed. We accept the people, their quandaries, and life's inherent mystery. Mystery which is just as important as bread on the table.

Bendigo Weekly

This is a powerful book and Winton is a brave writer.

John Ruszczyk, Manly Daily

A work of art ... This is a book that you won't forget in a hurry, if ever. A must.


This is Winton at his best; astute observer of human character and an incredible craftsman of language.


To read Tim Winton's new novel Eyrie is to be reminded of the author's sublime ability with language and insight into human hearts. It also reminded me that Winton is a storyteller who does not tie things up neatly but requires your engagement to distil the story.

Berkelouw Books

Eyrie is a remarkable book ... Tom, his mother Doris, Gemma and Kai are among the most memorable characters Tim has produced in his many books. There are moments that make you laugh out loud; there are beautiful descriptions of the landscape and throughout there is an undercurrent of fear. This is a really impressive work.

Books in Print Book Club

Keely, like many of the author's characters, might be down and out, but there's that rudimentary, poetic beauty in people who look misery in the mirror and can have an unaffected laugh at their own expense.

Elise Batchelor, Pilbara Echo

Some of Winton's words sit together so perfectly on the page it's like he searched every room in the house before deciding on the right ones.

Courier Mail

Haunting, confronting, and exquisitely written.

Kim Williams, Australian Book Review

Tim Winton writes with a deep understanding of the things in life that bring us together but also of the things that rip us asunder.

John Lord, Australian Independent Media Network

When I wanted to quantify style, I chose Hemingway and Fitzgerald and picked Tim Winton third. Hemingway's terse, punchy style is well-documented. Ditto Fitzgerald's lyricism. Winton to me still represents both. His terse sentences can withstand the unforgiving Western Australian landscape, and at any juncture, they can unwind into a distended, lengthy cheer. He can now unleash a howl.

Patrick McGinty, propellermag.com (US)

Winton is arguably our most masterful contemporary writer.

Newcastle Herald

Eyrie is beautifully written and wonderfully funny and marks the return of a master storyteller.

Mary Ryan's bookstore

A beautiful, deep and engaging story that illuminates human frailty, teases out the nature of risk and compassion, and goes very deep into the heart of love, loss, and personal responsibility.

Magdalena Ball, compulsivereader.com

Winton at his most intense and haunting best. Unmissable.

Books + Publishing

How can something that echoes so much pain, bring so much pleasure? ... The story is tense and suspenseful, a study of man and woman; a gentle moving study of those two opposites. Beautiful.

Troy Martin, litistan.wordpress.com

This might be the best thing Tim Winton has written ... Barely a sentence is ordinary ... [It] left me with a feeling of quiet triumph for the human spirit of survival.

Diana Burstall, Northern Rivers Echo

Awards & recognition

Victorian Premier's Literary Award

Shortlisted  •  2013  •  Fiction

W.A. Premier's Book Award

Winner  •  2014  •  People's Choice

ABA Nielsen BookData Booksellers

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Booksellers Choice

Australian Book Industry Awards

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Literary Fiction Book of the Year

Indie Award

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Fiction

Queensland Literary Awards

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Fiction

The Miles Franklin Literary Award

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Best Book

Voss Literary Prize

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Best Book

W.A. Premier's Book Award

Shortlisted  •  2014  •  Fiction

Folio Prize

Longlisted  •  2015  •  Best Novel

Discover more

Eyrie reading notes

Eyrie by Tim Winton: an inspired book club selection.