Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1988 Booker Prize Winner

Oscar & Lucinda by Peter Carey


Publisher: Faber & Faber

Length: 520 pages

About: 19th Century odd balls love affair

Style: 1st person

Where: England and Australia

When: Mid 19th Century



Publisher’s synopsis:

Oscar is a young English clergyman who has broken with his past and developed a disturbing talent for gambling. A country girl of singular ambition, Lucinda moves to Sydney, driven by dreams of self-reliance and the building of an industrial Utopia. Together this unlikely pair create and are created by the spectacle of mid-nineteenth century Australia.



If there was a bishop my mother would have him tea. She woudl sit him, not where you would imagine, not at the head of the big oval table, but in the middle of the long side, where, with his back to the view of the Bellinger River, he might gaze at the wall which held the sacred glass daguerreotype of my great-grandfather, the Reverend Oscar Hopkins (1841-66).




Oscar And Lucinda is a novel of extraordinary richness, complexity and strength - it is a peopled world, humming, buzzing, dancing with life and liveliness; it brings the past, in all its difference, bewilderingly into our present. It fills me with wild, savage envy, and no novelist could say fairer than that.

The Guardian, Angela Carter, 1st April 1998 for full review click here


Not so good:

One problem is that Mr. Carey has a very patchy sense of period. Some details - small matters in themselves, but they add up - are simply inaccurate. Oscar considers opening an account at Blackwell's bookshop in Oxford, for example, 20 years or so before the store first opened its doors. Other touches, though not demonstrably wrong, are unconvincing: could any daughter of a mid-Victorian bishop really have had the given name Melody?

The New York Times, John Gross, May 24th 1988 to see full review click here



About the author

Peter Carey was born in Australia in May 1943 and is the author of six novels. His other novels include The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith and Jack Maggs (winner of the 1998 Commonwealth Writers Prize). He has also written a collection of short stories, The Fat Man in History, and a book for children, The Big Bazoohley. He lives in New York.












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Novels by same author:


1997 film starring Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett





2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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