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My Life As a Fake

by

My Life As a Fake Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"In book after book, Peter Carey has proven that he's incapable of writing a dull page. He's a literary Robin Hood, stealing from rich moments of history or literature and giving to poor readers. The brazenness of his recent projects makes their success all the more exciting....Reading his new work, My Life As a Fake, about a celebrated case of fraud after World War II, is like falling into an Escher drawing. With stories nested in stories, narrators narrating the narratives of other narrators ? it all sounds like the kind of poststructural challenge A.S. Byatt would twist into a migraine of complexity, but Carey never forgets that it's about entertaining a reader. As the Booker Prize has noted ? twice ? he's one of the greatest storytellers alive, the perfect qualification for this novel all about storytelling." Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Jack Maggs, Peter Carey's celebrated sixth novel, was a sort of revisionist coda to Great Expectations. His most recent novel is a play on another nineteenth-century novel. My Life as a Fake tells the story of Christopher Chubb, curmudgeon and poet, who, several years earlier had perpetrated a grand literary hoax. Annoyed by the pretensions of Modernism, Chubb invented a phony poet named Bob McCorkle and, hoping to humiliate the literary establishment, submitted a handful of McCorkle's poems (written, of course, by Chubb) to an Australian literary magazine. But when Chubb finally meets McCorkle, all... Wait a minute, Chubb can't meet McCorkle; he made him up! But, there he is — in the flesh — shaggy, brilliant, enormous Bob McCorkle, Chubb's creation come to life. In an obvious nod to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Carey pits Chubb against his willful creature in an epic battle — and sends his careening plot right over the top. What fun! To be sure, My Life as a Fake explores serious issues: the strange relationship between creator and creation, the thin line between love and hate, the corrosive effects of greed, etc. But what makes reading this novel so much fun — what makes reading any Peter Carey novel so much fun — is the sense that the author himself was having a great time, giggling away at his keyboard as he let yet another of his creations get the better of him. Farley, Powells.com

Review:

"There's lots in My Life as a Fake for scholars to have fun with ? questions about identity and authenticity and the cultural anxieties of a colonial society. But Carey's hand is as light as a pickpocket's, and unless you're looking for such things, you won't see them at all; certainly there's less here of obvious weight than in this Australian writer's last novel, the Booker Prize-winning True History of the Kelly Gang....This is a fabulous book in the original sense of the term ? and in the other one, too." Michael Gorra, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)

Review:

"Delectably suspenseful and wildly inventive, Carey's spellbinding modern Gothic is a shrewd and seductive inquiry into the diabolical dimension of the imagination." Booklist

Review:

"Carey's corker of a plot...delivers surprise after surprise and peaks with a masterly extended set-piece....Issues of artistic inspiration, integrity, and authenticity are thus brilliantly allegorized in a wonderland of a yarn....A Nabokovian masterpiece." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The tale is a tour de force....As so often before, this extravagantly gifted writer has created something bewilderingly original and powerful." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A tour-de-force....Kelly's rough-necked, tender, funny, lyrical and engaging personality shines through." National Post

Review:

"This is a book born of bone, blood and beauty, as well as piercing social and historical insight. If there is a better novel written in English this year, it will need to be very, very good indeed: for here is a voice that will not let go." Ottawa Citizen

Review:

"Complex and masterful...A few lines from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein preface Carey's novel, and the dark themes of that story pulse with fresh vigor through the veins of My Life as a Fake...Carey's prose is sparse but sharp throughout his story, never missing its target and not taking long to get there...Like Shelley so many years earlier, Carey has created a haunting story whose surreal events are as captivating and memorable as the misguided aspirations of its characters." Thomas Haley, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Review:

"This hall of mirrors reads like the impossible offspring of a fictional ménage-à-trois involving Pale Fire, Lord Jim, and Our Man in Havana... Carey never lets anything fall, and he pitches us into an entirely implausible and yet compelling tale...a world of pirates, snakes, Japanese atrocities, poisoned melons, feudal rivalries, boarding schools, demons, bugs, and a carefully preserved manuscript...This is a fabulous book in the original sense of the term — and in the other one, too." Michael Gorra, The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Spellbinding...a shrewd and seductive inquiry into the diabolical dimension of the imagination...Carey is a wily and enthralling storyteller." Booklist

Review:

"Carey's corker of a plot (with echoes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Roman Polanski's film Chinatown, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) delivers surprise after surprise and peaks with a masterly extended set-piece that pits Chubb vs. 'McCorkle' in the steaming hotbed of (then) Malaya under Japanese occupation. Issues of artistic interpretation, integrity, and authenticity are thus brilliantly allegorized in a wonderland of yam, of which (the note entirely veracious) Slater declares 'He [i.e., Chubb] will drag you into his delusional world, have you believing the most preposterous things.' So will Peter Carey, God bless him. A Nabokovian masterpiece." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

Sarah Wode-Douglas is an aristocratic Englishwoman who makes her living in the cloistered world of literary London until she impulsively follows a family friend, poet John Slater, to Kuala Lumpur. Temporarily abandoned, she encounters another poet, the strange and forgotten Christopher Chubb.

Synopsis:

Using as a springboard a real literary hoax that transfixed Australia in his boyhood, Peter Carey wickedly and ruefully explores how a phantom poet taunts, haunts and otherwise destroys his maker, pursuing him from Melbourne to a seedy, sweaty, bitter ending in the tropical chaos of Kuala Lumpur.

About the Author

Peter Carey was born in Australia in 1943 and now lives in New York City with his family. The author of seven previous novels and a collection of stories, Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Prize for Best Book twice, and the Booker Prize twice — for Oscar and Lucinda and for his most recent novel, True History of the Kelly Gang, which was also a finalist for the 2002 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571216185
Author:
CAREY, PETER
Publisher:
FABER AND FABER LTD
Location:
N
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20030918
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Pages:
292
Dimensions:
241 x 163 in.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

My Life As a Fake Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 292 pages Faber and Faber - English 9780571216185 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "In book after book, Peter Carey has proven that he's incapable of writing a dull page. He's a literary Robin Hood, stealing from rich moments of history or literature and giving to poor readers. The brazenness of his recent projects makes their success all the more exciting....Reading his new work, My Life As a Fake, about a celebrated case of fraud after World War II, is like falling into an Escher drawing. With stories nested in stories, narrators narrating the narratives of other narrators ? it all sounds like the kind of poststructural challenge A.S. Byatt would twist into a migraine of complexity, but Carey never forgets that it's about entertaining a reader. As the Booker Prize has noted ? twice ? he's one of the greatest storytellers alive, the perfect qualification for this novel all about storytelling." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "There's lots in My Life as a Fake for scholars to have fun with ? questions about identity and authenticity and the cultural anxieties of a colonial society. But Carey's hand is as light as a pickpocket's, and unless you're looking for such things, you won't see them at all; certainly there's less here of obvious weight than in this Australian writer's last novel, the Booker Prize-winning True History of the Kelly Gang....This is a fabulous book in the original sense of the term ? and in the other one, too." (read the entire Atlantic review)
"Review" by , "Delectably suspenseful and wildly inventive, Carey's spellbinding modern Gothic is a shrewd and seductive inquiry into the diabolical dimension of the imagination."
"Review" by , "Carey's corker of a plot...delivers surprise after surprise and peaks with a masterly extended set-piece....Issues of artistic inspiration, integrity, and authenticity are thus brilliantly allegorized in a wonderland of a yarn....A Nabokovian masterpiece."
"Review" by , "The tale is a tour de force....As so often before, this extravagantly gifted writer has created something bewilderingly original and powerful." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "A tour-de-force....Kelly's rough-necked, tender, funny, lyrical and engaging personality shines through."
"Review" by , "This is a book born of bone, blood and beauty, as well as piercing social and historical insight. If there is a better novel written in English this year, it will need to be very, very good indeed: for here is a voice that will not let go."
"Review" by , "Complex and masterful...A few lines from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein preface Carey's novel, and the dark themes of that story pulse with fresh vigor through the veins of My Life as a Fake...Carey's prose is sparse but sharp throughout his story, never missing its target and not taking long to get there...Like Shelley so many years earlier, Carey has created a haunting story whose surreal events are as captivating and memorable as the misguided aspirations of its characters."
"Review" by , "This hall of mirrors reads like the impossible offspring of a fictional ménage-à-trois involving Pale Fire, Lord Jim, and Our Man in Havana... Carey never lets anything fall, and he pitches us into an entirely implausible and yet compelling tale...a world of pirates, snakes, Japanese atrocities, poisoned melons, feudal rivalries, boarding schools, demons, bugs, and a carefully preserved manuscript...This is a fabulous book in the original sense of the term — and in the other one, too."
"Review" by , "Spellbinding...a shrewd and seductive inquiry into the diabolical dimension of the imagination...Carey is a wily and enthralling storyteller."
"Review" by , "Carey's corker of a plot (with echoes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Roman Polanski's film Chinatown, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) delivers surprise after surprise and peaks with a masterly extended set-piece that pits Chubb vs. 'McCorkle' in the steaming hotbed of (then) Malaya under Japanese occupation. Issues of artistic interpretation, integrity, and authenticity are thus brilliantly allegorized in a wonderland of yam, of which (the note entirely veracious) Slater declares 'He [i.e., Chubb] will drag you into his delusional world, have you believing the most preposterous things.' So will Peter Carey, God bless him. A Nabokovian masterpiece."
"Synopsis" by , Sarah Wode-Douglas is an aristocratic Englishwoman who makes her living in the cloistered world of literary London until she impulsively follows a family friend, poet John Slater, to Kuala Lumpur. Temporarily abandoned, she encounters another poet, the strange and forgotten Christopher Chubb.
"Synopsis" by , Using as a springboard a real literary hoax that transfixed Australia in his boyhood, Peter Carey wickedly and ruefully explores how a phantom poet taunts, haunts and otherwise destroys his maker, pursuing him from Melbourne to a seedy, sweaty, bitter ending in the tropical chaos of Kuala Lumpur.
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