Never has a story of two such peculiar individuals been so beautifully told. At first, I'll admit the novel for me was slow to begin with and being an impatient reader, I struggled to get into it. Although please carry on, for although the plot will not necessarily drive you quickly onwards, the characters Carey creates will hopefully grip you as they did me and almost force you to carry on reading. Simply, there are no disposable characters; the story is pushed forward by the actions of the characters and not what is usually seen where writers create simple characters to fit into the story (Think Rosencrantz & Guildenstein).
The setting of the novel is equally impressive; Carey brings 19th century Australia back into existence for the purpose of shaping and testing his creations, and it is through these conflicts that you will learn to love and hate the author for what he does to your characters. Carey isn't satisfied to give a simple description of Australia, he must make sure you feel the anger of the natives, the pressures of society in 19th century Sydney, the atmosphere in the gambling houses.
Running throughout the novel are many themes, some grand, some not, but all relevant. For instance what makes a good father? or Son?, what are the aspects of faith? is love always an obsession? Every chapter has within it a deeper story to tell.
All this adds up to an amazing book, one that I'm sure I'll read countless times in my life.