"This dazzling collection of fables and fantasies opens with Peter Carey's most famous short story - "The Fat Man in History" - and closes with another, "War Crimes". In between are people caught on the edge of the near future, careless of the past, consumed by their weird fears and deluded passions."
"His imagination is soaring, his style beautifully disciplined, his eye for the truth unblinking." - Geoffrey Dutton, Bulletin
"If you never read another short story collection read this one." - Woman's Journal
"Peter Carey writes an intelligent, sizzling, and rapid narrative. He will also do allegories, fables, and astonishing tricks...I recommend his work to you with great enthusiasm." - Frank Moorhouse
"Impressive and entertaining...Each story ends on a melancholy but powerful note, like the sudden discharge of electrical energy which illuminates all that it touches." - Peter Ackroyd, Sunday Times
The Fat Man in History
"Do You Love Me?"
The Puzzling Nature of Blue
The Last Days of a Famous Mime
A Windmill in the West
Note: the story American Dreams was also published in Contemporary Classics: The Best Australian Short Fiction 1965-95 edited by Don Anderson.
First Paragraph of the Lead Story:
Lilly Danko had a funny face, but the actual point where one said "this is a funny face" rather than "this is a pretty face" was difficult to establish. Certainly there were little creases around the eyes and small smile lines beside the mouth, yet they had not always been there and she had always had a funny face. It was a long face with a long chin and perhaps it was the slight protuberance of her lower lip that was the key to it, yet it was not pronounced and could be easily overlooked and to make a fuss about it would be to ignore the sparkle in her pale blue eyes. Yet all of this is missing the point about faces which are not static things, a blue this, a long that, a collection of little items like clues in a crossword puzzle. For Lillian Danko had a rubber face which squinted its eyes, pursed its lips, wrinkled its nose and expressed, with rare freedom, the humours of its owner.
From the UQP paperback edition, 1990.
This page and its contents are copyright © 1997-2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Peter Carey page.
Last modified: November 15, 2001.