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The Unusual Life of Tristan Smithby Peter Carey
Synopses & Reviews
The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and The Tax Inspector now gives readers a hero, the malformed but ferociously willful Tristan Smith, who becomes the object of the world's byzantine political intrigues, even as he attains stardom in a bizarre Sirkus that is part passion play and part Mortal Kombat.
"Tristan Smith's unusual life makes for an unusual novel....Alternately funny and poignant, a picaresque novel that avid fiction readers will devour." Brad Hooper, Booklist
"Tristan Smith is laid out with a tough, spare, considered language....His chapter endings and beginnings bite down on each other like sets of teeth, giving dramatic energy to the page and a discordant, but oddly pleasing, music to the ear." Carol Shields, The New York Times
"Carey's always magical, absolutely lovable narrative voice makes The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith an important contribution to contemporary fiction....No matter what he decides to write or how he decides to write it, it's a privilege to read him." Carolyn See, The Washington Post Book World
"This inventive, multilayered work should only add to Carey's already considerable reputation. Highly recommended." Library Journal
From a writer whom Thomas Keneally calls "one of the great figures on the cusp of the millennium" comes a novel that conjures an entire world that suggests our own, but tilted on its axis—a world whose most powerful country, Voorstand, dominates its neighbors with ruthless espionage and its mesmerizing but soul-destroying Sirkus.
Into that world comes Tristan Smith, a malformed, heroically willful, and unforgivingly observant child. Tristan's life includes adventure and loss, political intrigue, and a bizarre stardom in the Voorstand Sirkus, where animals talk and human performers die real deaths. The result is a visionary picaresque, staggering in its inventions, spellbinding in its suspense, and unabashedly moving.
About the Author
Peter Carey received the Booker Prize for Oscar and Lucinda, and again for True History of the Kelly Gang. His other honors include the Commonwealth Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. The author of seven previous novels and a collection of stories, he was born in Australia in 1943 and now lives in New York City.
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