"In the dark recesses of the lost property office, strange atrocities are being committed. A luxurious train thunders north carrying a clerk who must pay dearly for his indulgence. Roses betray the secret of an old man, and a young unemployed couple explore the mysteries of exotic pleasures.
"Bizarre, funny, and chilling the stories in this collection are all, in one way or another, about power - about those who wield it, those who want it, and those who recall only its dazzling exhilaration and degradation."
"Peter Carey is a maker of myths, a fabulist, a creator of compelling imaginative worlds... one of the most original writers in Australian fiction today." - Barry Oakley
"For some time now there has been a vacancy in the Sophisticated Fantasy Section of the Short Story Industry. It is my pleasure to announce that Peter Carey has been appointed to fill the position. He will also do allegories, fables, and astonishing tricks. He writes an intelligent, sizzling, and rapid narrative. I commend his work to you with great enthusiasm." - Frank Moorhouse
"Carey's worlds are quite real. He evokes them with a sense of detail and economy that never labours for effect - it is controlled, witty and chilling. Very professional." - David Marr
The Journey of a Lifetime
"Do You Love Me?" (previously published in Tabloid Story)
The Uses of Williamson Wood
The Last Days of a Famous Mime (previously published in Stand)
A Schoolboy Prank
Fragrance of Roses (previously published in Nation Review)
The Puzzling Nature of Blue
He Found Her in Late Summer
First Paragraph of the Lead Story:
In the end I shall be judged.
They will write about me in books and take care to explain me so badly that it is better that I do it myself. They will write with the stupid smugness of middle-class intellectuals, people of moral rectitude who have never seriously placed themselves at risk. They have supported wars they have not fought in, and damned companies they have not had the courage to destroy. Their skins are fair and pampered and their bellies are corseted by expensively-made jeans.
They will write about me as a tyrant, a psychopath, an aberrant accountant, and many other things but it would never once occur to them that I might know exactly what I am doing. Neither would they imagine that I might have feelings other than those of a mad dog.
But they do not have a monopoly on finer feelings, as you shall soon see.
From the UQP hardback edition, 1979.
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.