Carey and Courtenay

Is it really possible to compare Peter Carey and Bryce Courtenay? Simon Casterton in "The Age" seems to believe so. And he makes a fair argument for it. It all revolves around the point that "They may work different sides of the publishing street, but Courtenay and Carey are equally effective at getting their message across." So it is really all about marketing and positioning oneself in front of the customers/readers? Probably, and both came from advertising backgrounds originally so past experience is a major help. In addition:

Courtenay appeals to that part of Australian culture that is perhaps more overtly populist, nationalist and materialist. Carey, on the other hand, appeals to a more rarefied, cosmopolitan stratum, and has an additional appeal to overseas readers and literary prize givers. Courtenay is an immigrant made good, while Carey is a well-connected expatriate. Each, though, comes across as "good bloke", which is the acme of social acceptability in this country. Neither is as challenging to the general reader as, say, a Patrick White, or perhaps a J. M. Coetzee.
I've talked about Patrick White here recently and have decided that I have to read at least one of his books this year. But is Carey not as challenging as Coetzee? It's not a question that has occurred to me before. Courtenay's books sell very well in this country - I believe he was the top-selling local writer last year - but I haven't read anything by him. Maybe it's about time I did. God, not more books to add to the list.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 25, 2005 11:41 AM.

Combined Reviews: Fire Fire by Eva Sallis was the previous entry in this blog.

Poem: Omarism by Victor Daley is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en