The Riders

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The Riders
The riders cover.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorTim Winton
Cover artistMary Callahan
Publication date
Media typePrint (Cloth)
823 20
LC ClassPR9619.3.W585 R5 1994

The Riders (1994) is a novel by Australian author Tim Winton published in 1994. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1995. Winton has won several literary awards.

Plot summary[edit]

The Riders tells the story of an Australian man, Fred Scully, and his 7-year-old daughter Billie. Scully, as he is known, and his wife Jennifer have planned to move from Australia to a cottage they have purchased in Ireland. His wife and daughter are due to arrive in Ireland but at the airport only Billie arrives, traumatised and unable to tell her father what has happened or why her mother put her on the plane alone. The story follows Scully and Billie as they travel around Europe retracing the steps of their previous travel, trying to find Jennifer and work out why she left them.[1]


Iain Grandage, who wrote the music for adaptation of The Riders as an opera, described the novel as follows" "At its heart, The Riders is about the nature of love. It deals with questions of how well we can truly know someone; how well we can truly know ourselves."[2]


A review in the Kirkus Review stated that, "Emotions, character, and intellect so perfectly calibrated that a modest story of love betrayed becomes, in Winton's hands, a minor masterpiece."[1]

The Publishers Weekly described the novel as a 'suspense thriller" and a "gut-wrenching love story" and praise his descriptions of landscapes, the energy of his prose and call Winton "stunning".[3]



An opera based on the novel, with libretto by Alison Croggon and music by Iain Grandage, was premiered in Melbourne in September 2014.[4]


The rights to the novel were secured by Susie Brooks-Smith in 2000. It was announced in 2012[5] that filming would soon begin but the project has not proceeded.[6]



  1. ^ a b "Kirkus Review". Kirkus Review. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Iain Grandage The Riders". Iain Grandage. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  3. ^ "The RIders". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  4. ^ "The Riders Review (Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne)" Daily Review, 25 September 2014
  5. ^ "Star cast for Winton film 8 September 2012". The West Australian. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  6. ^ "The Riders". IMDb. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Shortlist 1995". Man Booker Prize. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Tim Winton Author Bio". Booktopia. Retrieved 2 February 2017.