Illywhacker is a dazzling comic narrative, from the lips of the 139 year old Herbert Badgery, the illywhacker or confidence trickster of the title Overflowing with magic, jokes and inventions, peopled with aviators, car salesmen, Chinamen and impresarios, Peter Carey s novel is a contemporary classic.
Illywhacker Illywhacker is a dazzling comic narrative from the lips of the year old Herbert Badgery the illywhacker or confidence trickster of the title Overflowing with magic jokes and inventions peopled
G day, g day How ya going What do you know Well, strike a light G day, g day,And how ya go o oing Just say g day, g day, g day,And you ll be right Slim DustyThis is a novel about Australia the souvenir shop image of Slim Dusty records and tourist posters, and the romantic but gritty reality that underlies it It is about how to separate the two how to celebrate your own history without turning it into a cartoon or a travesty It is, in short, about the problems of belief and principle faced by thr [...]
I tried thinking of a couple of clever ways to start this review, then I remembered this is just a personal internet thing I loved this book and here s why Sometimes you just want to hear a great, rollicking, absurd yarn of a story that makes the elements of life seem larger and important than they really are while still retaining a bittersweet sense of the transient nature of all things Maybe it s hard to find books like that it is but this is one like that.Illywhacker is the story of liar, co [...]
Boy, it s been kind of gloomy around here recently, hasn t it What with unanticipated abridgments, disorganized Englishmen, and lukewarm responses to historical fiction, things have looked rosier But here, my friends, is the antidote Peter Carey s rollicking Australian epic Illywhacker is robust and uproarious a chewy, stew like story you can really sink your teeth into, and which also offers a thought provoking meditation on the nature of lying and the truth I ve written before about how I woul [...]
Is this The Great Australian Novel Perhaps it s a bit too playful to aspire to such pretensions, but nonetheless it is an admirable attempt The book is often categorized as magical realism, due largely to events that could be and probably are entirely fabrications of the narrator a disappearing act, an alleged Chinese sorcerer, and a mysterious Vegemite jar containing either shape shifting matter or a rotting body part Don t be dissuaded there may be some tall tales told, and a fair amount of st [...]
Savour every page in this tour de force by Australia s finest Booker prizewinner It s not just 139 year old Herbert Badgery s outlandish shaggy dog stories on women, aviation and the outback, it s not just the people and places that spring vibrantly from the page, it is the beauty of Carey s craftsmanship, his perfectly proscribed prose and lovingly nurtured descriptions that make this novel such a pleasure to read Enjoy the ride of each and every chapter in what would be an overworked storyline [...]
Okay, I enjoyed this book, I liked the characters but as read further into the novel, I found myself wanting of Herbert Badgery s story About three quarters of the way, I get bogged into a whole heap of characters that I neither cared about or want to know I was intrigued by Herbert and I found this massive slab of his story just disappeared as I was taken along to the story about his son and then grandson Parts of the book moved into the surreal with people living in cages and just decaying aw [...]
My copy of this book was a gift, and I was suckered in by the adjective funny from the review on the cover Intrigued, I read all the glowing reviews from the big name periodicals and prepared myself for one amazing read By the first hundred pages, as I got familiar with the protagonist and the author s style, I began to wonder if I had been flim flammed I have to admit my first thought, upon finishing the book, was that this may have been the biggest waste of reading effort I have ever put into [...]
I wish I could give this book a half star for me, it hovers somewhere between 3 and 4 Illywhacker was remarkable because of the incredible dexterity with which Carey handles his prose In the first half of the book, Carey manages to shift narrative perspectives, discard his narrators again and again, and jump around in time without disorienting the reader at all His descriptions of characters are amazingly vivid, unique, and interesting The first half of Illywhacker was essentially a manual on ho [...]
Ah, remember when books were important And very very long This teeming Dickensian Sydney, plonked in a Patrick White desert, was thrust at me by a wild eyed enthusiast in 1985, shortly after it became the novel that should have won the Booker that year I took one look at the size of the thing and decided to wait till I was grown up in my case another 24 years To anyone who remembers the 80s it seems dated now by the fashions of the decade Magic Realism, Wow though this effect will fade as it en [...]
This novel is about Australia Not just things that happened there, or people who lived there, but the place itself It is narrated by Herbert Badgery who lives to be 139 However, Herbert spends very little time talking about himself and his own life the book is mainly about the people he meets and lives with during his long life friends, family, lovers, adversaries, etc He delves into their characters, their histories, and their lives with near omniscience The characters are the most important an [...]
Loved this than I thought I would, the characters seem larger than life and it s easy to fall for the scatty bunch Would love to have grown up in a pet shop, though I d prefer to have a room not a cage.It s a big book but it does have to cover Herbert s long life, 139 years and counting He s a liar something he tells you from the start of his narration, but he s a loveable rogue.
Astounding, entertaining, sprawling achievement Ostensibly the story of a man s Herbert Badgery s life, but focusing on those people places events around him Marvelous blend of the realistic and the bizarre, with superb dialogue and highly evocative throughout of Australian history psyche through the 20th century Essentially 5 Stars, but I m marking it down slightly cos I was never quite completely bamboozled into not noticing that this is like a collection of short stories.
Peter Carey is a fabulous writer, and any book he writes is likely to be worth reading just for the luscious, brilliantly observant, surprising prose and the Dickensian characters Having gotten that out of the way, I have to say that I was left disappointed by Illywhacker Clearly it s designed to be a rambling, picaresque story reviewers mention Tom Jones as a cousin of this book , and it does a marvelous job for the first half or so, which focuses on the roguish con man narrator Herbert Badgery [...]
Oh I so wanted to love this book, I have picked it up so many times over the years and promised myself that I would get through it one day I cannot disagree with anyone who has reviewed it as a masterpiece of prose, as always I am in awe of authors who can produce this many words of such dizzying proportions and depths but oh God by the end I was praying for the relief of the last page On reading the first few pages and the back sleeve I had been ready for a long novel of hilarious anecdotes and [...]
ILLYWHACKER 1985 Peter Carey This is a 600 page epic novel from this Australian author that has been described as funny, devious, and bitterly insightful It is all of those, but could have been even better if an astute editor had trimmed about 200 pages from it It is epic in the style of Tom Jones The main character, the illywhacker of the title Wait I should mention that illywhacker is Australian slang for a trickster or confidence man is Herbert Badgery, who, at the telling for he is also our [...]
Where do all the strange ones go They re looking for other oddballs who can match them in their wackiness and keep them company It is my belief that there are few things in this world useful than a hessian bag, and no matter what part of my story I wish to reflect on I find that a hessian bag, or the lack of one, assumes some importance They soften the edge of a hard bench, can be split open to line a wall, can provide a blanket for a cold night, a safe container for a snake, a rabbit, or a duc [...]
I m clearly in a minority, but I find Carey too self obsessedd the sense that he s trying too hard makes it difficult for me to get involved with his work I ve tried, I honestly have, because so many of my Aussie friends like his stuff.
Superb Carey s finest work The history of Australia distilled into one character.
I want to like Peter Carey, seems I should, kindred spirit and all that, but so far I am not enlisted.
This is my second book by Peter Carey first one was Oscar and Lucinda and i would say that i am deeply unsatisfiedeven though his characters are great and have that magical qualityey seemed to be forced I always feel that there is something missing in his novels I am ready to accept that i might lack the expertize to give any opinion on his workbut i would say that the two of his novels O and L and Illywhacker, that i read, left me discontented.
First time in years I ve stopped a book without finishing it The writing is rather lovely, and there are some great turns of phrase, but the plot is so uninteresting to me that I can t be doing with nearly 600 pages of the stuff I read about a third of it, but I ve too much else to read right now Maybe I ll return to it and finish it off sometime, but for now, no.
Because I didn t like Bliss, I skipped ahead to Peter Carey s first Booker Prize winner, Oscar and Lucinda, which I found to be excellent So I was pleasantly surprised to go back to Illywhacker, Carey s second novel and the first nominated for a Booker to find that it was also an excellent work a funny, tragic, picaresque epic.Herbert Badgery, Illywhacker s protagonist and omniscient narrator, begins the novel by announcing that he is a hundred and thirty nine years old and a terrible liar The s [...]
This was hard work, but WOW So crazy and descriptive and plausible But what happened to Sonia And why were there so many tiny men And why did I attempt this book when I have noisy children living at home It is a novel that one needs to concentrate on
Peter Carey, good taste of Australia in most of his work, a bit of edge.
Couldn t be bothered finishing.
Not memorable Held my interest for quarter of the length and it then whithered away The book rambled on and just wasn t fascinating It was rather dull.
A great read, despite the narrator s dubious honesty.
My first Peter Carey novel a kind of Australian Magic Realism, a larger than life character and a rambling family drama with some real curious details along the way Themes of entrapment and freedom and what it is to be Australian, a nation built on a foundation of lies I just loved it, and was obsessively immersed to the exclusion of anything else.
Carey, Peter IllywhackerFrom the outset the reader is aware that he is being led on by a con man, for Carey makes it plain on the cover that his narrator, Herbert Badgery is a terrible liar and always has been Moreover in the novel s epigraph Carey cites dictionary definitions of the Australian word Illywhacker indicating its meaning as variously professional trickster, trickster or spieler, one who wacks the illy, peter tickler and eeler spee So the book craves wary walking The reader is at onc [...]
First sentence My name is Herbert Badgery P 99 Molly McGrath whimpered and curled her fifty year old body into a shaking ball beneath the sheets Last sentence It will give him strength for the interesting times ahead From the author s website In Australian slang, an Illywhacker is a country fair con man, an unprincipled seller of fake diamonds and dubious tonics And Herbert Badgery, the 139 year old narrator of Peter Carey s uproarious novel, may be the king of them all Vagabond and charlatan, a [...]