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First published in 1985, this picaresque tale from Australian novelist Carey presents the life story of a highly unreliable 139-year-old con man.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Carey can spin a yarn with the best of them.... Illywhacker is a big, garrulous, funny novel.... If you haven't been to Australia, read Illywhacker. It will give you the feel of it like nothing else I know." -- The New York Times Book ReviewIn 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, aviator and car salesman, seducer and patriarch, Badgery is a walking embodiment of the Australian national character -- especially of its proclivity for tall stories and barefaced lies.As Carey follows this charming scoundrel across a continent and a century, he creates a crazy quilt of outlandish encounters, with characters that include a genteel dowager who fends off madness with an electric belt and a ravishing young girl with a dangerous fondness for rooftop trysts. Boldly inventive, irresistibly odd, Illywhacker is further proof that Peter Carey is one of the most enchanting writers at work in any hemisphere."A book of awesome breadth, ambition, and downright narrative joy.... Illywhacker is a triumph." -- Washington Post Book World --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Had Illywhacker been my first encounter with Carey, I would likely have enjoyed it more. But I've read Bliss. And Bliss is brilliant. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2000 by Steve Gold
I hate to confess this, but this is one of those books I read and enjoyed on the surface level, but whose more meaningful level I did not understand at all. Read morePublished on Aug. 30 1999 by A. Ross
I very much enjoyed reading this novel. The robust prose, the thoughtful characterizations, the bursts of poetry, and the sustained pride in being a (white) Australian were all... Read morePublished on April 20 1999
I recently reread Illywhacker, and found it every bit as gripping, entertaining, and hilarious as on my first trip through the novel, over ten years ago. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 1998
Stunning masterpiece, and the best book written in the last five years. Herbert Badgery's life draws you in and doesn't let go. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 1998