Synopses & Reviews
From the two-time Booker Prize winner: an exhilarating, exceedingly timely new novel — at once dark, suspenseful, and seriously funny — that journeys to the place where the cyber underworld collides with international power politics.
When Gaby Baillieux released the Angel Worm virus into Australia's prison system, hundreds of asylum seekers walked free. And because the Americans run the prisons — as they do so many parts of her country — the doors of some 5,000 jails in the US also opened. Was this a mistake, or a declaration of cyber war? What, if anything, does it have to do with the largely-forgotten Battle of Brisbane between American and Australian forces in 1942? Or with the CIA-influenced coup in Australia in 1975? Felix Moore — known to himself as "Australia's last serving left-wing journalist" — is determined to write Gaby's biography in order to find the answers, to save her, to save his career, and perhaps to save his country. But how to get Gaby to cooperate? Bringing together the world of hackers and radicals with the "special relationship" between the United States, the CIA, and Australia, Amnesia is Peter Carey at his best, a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present.
“[This] lively 13th novel from the Australian magus Peter Carey will leave the mind reeling. It is tremendous fun, a satiric burlesque as fast as a speeding car, barbed as only Carey can be, seething with benign rage and as black as reality....Amnesia is blunt and funny, brave and outspoken....Carey says a great deal in an entertaining, provocative novel, weighty with polemical intent, yet he never forgets to tell a story that is as large as life and as exuberantly complicated, and, as regards setting the record straight, long overdue. If fiction can summon the now, this novel has.” Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
“A novel about the new American empire and its repercussions around the world, about technology and, most movingly, about family. It is slippery and compelling, written with the vivid precision that marks Mr. Carey’s best work. It appears at first as though he might, like Thomas Pynchon in Bleeding Edge or Dave Eggers in The Circle, be attempting to recreate the constantly shifting virtual world in the fixed text of a novel. But humanity, not machinery, lies at the book’s heart....Mr. Carey, who has already won the Man Booker prize twice should be in with a chance for a third prize next year.” The Economist
“A twisting, thriller-ish tale....A sharp ripost to those who say fiction can’t cope with the cyber age....Intriguing.” Paul Dunn, The Times
“Peter Carey is such a varied and intriguing novelist there are times when it seems he can write anything....[Amnesia is] exhilarating. It even has a viral twist at the end. As I said, Peter Carey can do anything.” James Runcie, The Independent
“Peter Carey’s fiction is turbo-charged, hyperenergetic...Carey’s book is whirling and intricate, yet such is the excitement of the writing, we take the ride very gladly....Like many of Carey’s books, Amnesia generates an aura of the fantastical but is completely grounded; it is high-spirited but serious, hectic but never hasty....It responds to some of the biggest issues of our time, and reminds us that no other contemporary novelist is better able to mix farce with ferocity, or to better effect.” Andrew Motion, The Guardian
About the Author
Peter Carey is the author of twelve previous novels and has twice received the Booker Prize. His other honors include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York City for more than twenty years.