This weekend’s panicked book grab was Peter Carey’s His Illegal Self which turned out to be the first Peter Carey we’ve liked since Jack Maggs which we liked hugely. The new one is nothing like the deeply Dickensian Jack Maggs, and it is not a lot of fun the way Jack Maggs was fun. But it’s good. It is. Even though it’s about one of the absolutely worst times in American history (late sixties) and involves the absolutely worst subset of Americans (rich radicals). And, for the record, Australia doesn’t come off much better. Rather, Australian officialdom and hippies don’t come off much better. But the leading lady is a love in a lost sort of way, and the child at the center of the book is finely drawn and believable in a wild situation.
We had an early crack at the new Tom Rob Smith (he wrote the excellent Child 44) so you must remind us tell you about it when it’s legal. For now we suggest going back to Child 44 if you haven’t already been there. We still think it’s what Variety used to call boffo.
And, before we start the odious budget work from which this is distracting us, would any Barbara Trapido fans please identify themselves. We’re still pining for her.
On the way out… I just noticed all three of the above are British Commonwealth authors which would irk the non-blogger if she ever visited this page. Doesn’t bother us a bit.