From the two-time Booker Prizewinning author and recipient of the Commonwealth Prize comes this new novel about obsession, deception, and redemption, at once an engrossing psychological suspense story and a work of highly charged, fiendishly funny literary fiction.
Michaela.k.a. "Butcher"Boone is an ex"really famous" painter: opinionated, furious, brilliant, and now reduced to living in the remote country house of his biggest collector and acting as caretaker for his younger brother, Hugh, a damaged man of imposing physicality and childlike emotional volatility. Alone together theyve forged a delicate and shifting equilibrium, a balance instantly destroyed when a mysterious young woman named Marlene walks out of a rainstorm and into their lives on three-inch Manolo Blahnik heels. Beautiful, smart, and ambitious, shes also the daughter-in-law of the late great painter Jacques Liebovitz, one of Butchers earliest influences. Shes sweet to Hugh and falls in love with Butcher, and they reciprocate in kind. And she sets in motion a chain of events that could be the makingor the ruinof them all.
Told through the alternating points of view of the brothersButchers urbane, intelligent, caustic observations contrasting with Hughs bizarre, frequently poetic, utterly unique voiceTheft reminds us once again of Peter Careys remarkable gift for creating indelible, fascinating characters and a narrative as gripping as it is deliriously surprising.
Theft, by Peter Carey
I don't know if my story is grand enough to be a tragedy, although a lot of shitty stuff did happen. It is certainly a love story but that did not begin until midway through the shitty stuff, by which time I had not only lost my eight-year-old son, but also my house and studio in Sydney where I had once been about as famous as a painter could expect in his own backyard. It was the year I should have got the Order of Australia--why not!--look at who they give them to. Instead my child was stolen from me and I was eviscerated by divorce lawyers and gaoled for attempting to retrieve my own best work which had been declared Marital Assets.
Emerging from Long Bay Prison in the bleak spring of 1980, I learned I was to be rushed immediately to northern New South Wales where, although I would have almost no money to spend on myself, it was thought that I might, if I could only cut down on my drinking, afford to paint small works and care for Hugh, my ...
Despite having lived in New York for 15 years, Carey once again sets his latest book, at least in part, in Australia, but we're also taken on a wild ride through Japan and New York in a novel that has received exceptional reviews from all prepublication review sources (including three starred reviews), and has been variously described as "a masterpiece", "a certifiable hoot", "edgy, irreverent, often hilariously profane", "sharply observed, well written, and acerbically witty".
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (383 words).
Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943 (in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, about 30
miles from Melbourne). He attended Geelong Grammar School (one of
Australia's top private schools which at one time or another has been
responsible for educating many of the most powerful names in Australian business
and government). He left university
after a year having failed his science exams and found work as a copyrighter in
London (UK) and Melbourne - and eventually started his own agency. He published his first volume of short stories, War Crimes,
in 1979, followed by another volume of short stories, The Fat Man in History,
He then wrote three novels, Bliss (1981) - about an advertising executive who has an out-of-body...
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