Book review: The Shepherd’s Hut, by Tim Winton
What a peculiar, disorientating and astonishing novel this is. It begins as one thing and ends as another, and yet the stitching towards these diverse tones is seamless. We begin with Jaxie Clackton, a young Australian whose mother has died, and whose father is quick with his fists. When he returns home to find his father dead in an almost comical accident, he takes the opportunity to light out for the territories. It is a kind of freedom without freedom, since he goes walkabout fearing that the police will think he has engineered the death of, as he calls him, “Captain Wankbag”. He is heading off to see a mysterious person, Lee, about whom we find more anon. Let us say he gets slightly sidelined.