Theft Continues in the UK

Theft by Peter Carey is reviewed in "The Independent" by Tom Rosenthal who starts by providing a decent potted history of artists portrayed in novels, which is a bit different. He then goes on to say: "Despite the difficulty of visualising unpainted works of art, it's probably easier, and at least a preferable act of creation, to invent artists. You don't have to worry about libel if the artist is alive, or damage to a whited sepulchre reputation if dead. And it's often more fun to create a rogue or a wild man than a person of perfect moral rectitude...Carey's jaundiced eye on the contemporary art scene is wonderfully and destructively satirical and the humour robust and farcical but never crude. It would be entirely unsurprising if Carey becomes the first ever triple Booker, or Man-Booker, winner."

In "The Times Literary Supplement", Ruth Scurr also reviews Theft by Peter Carey and is the first, as far as I am aware, to catch a foretelling of the novel from The Tax Inspector, an earlier work of Carey's. She also raises some points that are interesting, and new: "Inheritance - personal, cultural, historical - has been central in Carey's fiction from the beginning. It is almost always ambiguous: something overwhelmingly defining from which, nevertheless, one would prefer to escape." She concludes: "Sexually excited by a criminal, responsive to wealth, cynical, broken, angry - all the things Maria Takis feared at the end of The Tax Inspector, happen to Butcher Bones in Theft. Yet this time the ending is wonderfully executed: 'slow-drying, ambiguous, a shifting tide between beauty and horror'. There is still a question left hanging: 'How do you know how much to pay if you don't know what it's worth?'. We must hope that, one day, in a different novel, the brilliantly restless Peter Carey will return to answer it."

"Peter Carey's marvellously enjoyable new novel is - like his last - preoccupied with themes of artifice and deceit, so it's good to record that he has once more written the real thing." So says Tom Deveson in his review of the book in "The Sunday Times". "Carey sets many challenges, expecting us to pick up scatological Australian idioms, hidden quotations from Bob Dylan, references to Clement Greenberg and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. He has earned the right to do so. There is a flow of comic incident as the story withholds what it shows and winds around itself under the author's blissful control. Readers can gratefully share both his high seriousness and his exhilaration."

The novel is ranked at 2,212 at Amazon in the UK, and at 246 at in the US.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 29, 2006 10:06 AM.

Australian Books to Film #8 - They're a Weird Mob was the previous entry in this blog.

2006 "Sydney Morning Herald" Best Young Australian Novelists is the next entry in this blog.

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