Choosing as his target the most avant-garde of the literary magazines, he submits for publication the entire oeuvre of one Bob McCorkle, a working-class poet of raw power and sexual frankness, conveniently dead at twenty-four and entirely the product of Chubb's imagination.
Melbourne, the late 1940s. A young conservative Australian poet named Christopher Chubb decides to teach his country a lesson about pretension and authenticity. Choosing as his target the most avant-garde of the literary magazines, he submits for publication the entire oeuvre of one Bob McCorkle, a working-class poet of raw power and sexual frankness, conveniently dead at twenty-four and entirely the product of Chubb's imagination. Not only does the magazine fall for the hoax, but the local authorities also sue its editor for publishing obscenity. At the trial someone uncannily resembling the faked photograph of the invented McCorkle, leaps to his feet. At this moment a horrified Chubb is confronted by the malevolent being he has himself manufactured...
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"Peter Carey's new novel, My Life as a Fake, is so confidently brilliant, so economical yet lively in its writing, so tightly fitted and continuously startling in its plot that something, we feel, must be wrong with it."--John Updike, "The New Yorker" "Carey has always been a master of high-energy prose, but he is also skilled at the memorable moment -- the scene or tableau so rich or original that it lingers long after the novel."--"The Globe and Mail""exquisitively crafted...a fantastic tale constructed as a story within a story within a story."--"Toronto Star" "Part detective story, part pitiless dissection of the colonial psyche, part gothic horror tale.... Carey makes magic.... In My Life as a Fake, Carey exposes such profound insecurities, invents so many maddened and tender characters, paints such an indelible picture of the sad expatriate life that, like poor 'Bob McCorkle, ' he seizes our imagination and won't let go.... [H]ugely entertaining."--"The Toronto Star" "[L]ikened to prime period Graham Greene with touches of Malcolm Lowry, Mary Shelley, Joseph Conrad, George Gissing and William Somerset Maugham.... It's hard to think of another major writer working in English who has shown the stylistic range, coupled with a refusal to repeat himself, that Peter Carey has."--"The Gazette" "My Life as a Fake is a novel to mull over, to reread and to ruminate upon. True, it teases readers with the questions of morality and mortality it raises. But it also prods us towards examination of the levels of 'fakery' and untruth in our own lives."--"The Edmonton Journal" "There are brilliant, almost phantasmagoric, episodes in jungles, brothels, planters' hotels, tropical tailors' shops, all drawn by a master story-teller."--"Evening Standard "(UK)" ,,"."Peter Carey's new novel comes like a monsoon after drought. It is a magnificent, poetic contemplation of the lying, fakery and insincerity inherent in the act of artistic creation....It's a charismatically furious piece of work, brilliantly meshing its ethical and artistic debate with a rich human drama."--"The Times "(UK)" ""The wrting is precise and beautifully intense, blending imipressions of Malaysia with the ebb and flow of Micks's mental state, recalled, sometimes mistily, after many years...Carey gives profound attention to the mysteries of authenticity and poetry, especially on how fabricated fakes may become supernatural and inspirational....In a beautifully crafted piece of storytelling, Peter Carey has produced an immensely powerful work that will resonate for generations."--"The Independent (UK) ""In My Life as a Fake, Carey brings to the fore the same devices he used so successfully in his Booker-winning Oscar and Lucinda (1988) and True History of the Kelly Gang (2001), as well as in his recent novel, Jack Maggs. A two-tiered love story combines with trickery, secrecy, gothic horror, criss-crossed identities, a reach for power and a search for certainty that marked the earlier books. Carey's new novel is intelligent, complex, strikingly original and oddly (considering its subject) witty. It is what was once called 'a good yarn' -- another good read from an inventive and masterful novelist."--"The London Free Press" Praise for "True History of the Kelly Gang": "Carey has transformed sepia legend into brilliant, evenviolent, colour, and turned a distant myth into warm flesh and blood. Packed with incident, alive with comedy and pathos, True History of the Kelly Gang contains pretty much everything you could ask of a novel."--"The New York Times Book Review" "A tour-de-force. . . . Kelly's rough-necked, tender, funny, lyrical and engaging personality shines through."--"National Post" "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" "From the Hardcover edition."
About Peter Carey
Peter Carey received the Booker Prize for Oscar and Lucinda and again for True History of the Kelly Gang. His novel, Parrot and Olivier in America, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2010. His other honours include the Commonwealth Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York for twenty years. www.petercareybooks.com
My Life as a Fake by Peter Carey
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Faber & Faber
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