Well, I think I found it a combination of intensely irritating, and sadly very, very boring. I also couldn't believe in it, and the mosr hype I heard about 'ventriloquism' - which is a term I have a possibly not entirely rational antipathy towards anyway - the less inclined I was to trust it. The suggestion it carries of 'authenticity', maybe, or of the possibility of some kind of accurate representation, is so at odds with the immensely literary construction of the book. The hype isn't Carey's fault, but I couldn't help but feel that the text was trying to do the literary equivalent of an actor winning an Oscar for starring in some dull, ponderous biopic, when the award seems to be more for impersonation than for acting skill... and then indeed it did win the booker prize.
None of this would matter even a tiny bit, though, if I hadn't been so intensely, insanely, chew my own foot off rather than have to sit here with this book a minute longer BORED by it.
Posts: 2387 | From: Arcadia | Registered: Aug 2006
| IP: Logged |
I'm in complete agreement with Lyra on the Kelly Gang. I really like a lot of Carey's books (and particularly his short stories), but Kelly Gang has put me off him for the time being.
As for the original list: The Man Who Loved Children is fantastic, but not particularly Australian (i.e. it's by an Australian writer who was living in the US and is well and truly set there); David Malouf is great, but I'm surprised by the books that were selected (no Jonno?); The rest of George Johnston's books are as good or better than My Brother Jack (and that means really, really good).
There's not a lot of recent fiction on the list (which is probably as it should be) - I reckon that Richard Flanagan has written a couple of books (Gould's Book of Fish and Death of a River Guide) that stand up pretty well to most of those that made the grade.
Posts: 439 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jun 2004
| IP: Logged |