The Riders, the novel that brought Tim Winton his first Booker Prize shortlisting, charts an odyssey across Europe, a transfixing journey through the underworld of every lover's nightmare. Fred Scully waits at the arrival gate of an international airport, anxious to see his wife and daughter. After two years in Europe they are finally settling down. He sees a new life before them, a stable outlook again, a fresh start, a cottage in the Irish countryside that he's renovated by hand. He's waited, sweated on this reunion. The flight lands. The doors at the airport hiss open. And Scully's life falls to pieces. Written with the pace of a thriller and the human understanding of a master novelist, The Riders was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. 'At its breaking heart is a fearless exploration of how well we can ever really know each other . . . Winton is not a great Australian novelist; he is a great novelist full stop.' The Times 'Winton has forced a different kind of thinking about men and their imperatives, about the value and meaning of action . . . The Riders is a grand, poised, metaphorical reconciliation.' Sydney Morning Herald 'There is more feeling in this book than can ever be paraphrased.' Village Voice 'The Riders is about the painful process of learning to live without illusions, without false anticipation . . . Furious and vital . . . a celebration - of the messiness of life and of the force of good fiction.' The Guardian 'Vivid and rewarding . . . Encompasses and transcends all the known world.' Thomas Keneally 'If you're looking for a book that bolts you to your seat, this is it.' Sunday Age