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Peter Carey

Illywhacker, from twice winner of the Booker Prize Peter Carey, is a picaresque tale of one man’s exploits across the Australian continent.

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An illywhacker is a confidence trickster, and Herbert Badgery, the 139-year-old narrator of this dazzling comic novel, may be the king of them all. Vagabond and charlatan, aviator and car salesman, seducer and patriarch, Badgery travels across the Australian continent and a century in a picaresque novel full of outlandish encounters and dangerous characters. Overflowing with magic, jokes and inventions, Illywhacker is a contemporary classic.

Critic Reviews

The funniest novel of the year.

The Times
Critic Reviews

It is impossible to convey the cumulative brilliance and accelerating hilarity of the prose.

London Review of Books
Critic Reviews

Carey can spin a yarn with the best of them . . . Illywhacker is a big, garrulous, funny novel, touching, farcical and passionately bad-tempered.

Howard Jacobson, New York Times
Critic Reviews

The delight in physical detail, the forward rush of the narrative, nearly concealing the slyly perfect rhythm of Carey's sentences... I would do anything to have written them.

Nell Freudenberger, Independent

Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943. He claims his birthplace of Bacchus Marsh had a population of 4,000. This fact should probably be checked. He was educated at the local state school until the age of eleven and then became a boarder at Geelong Grammar School. He was a student there between 1954 and 1960 — after Rupert…

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