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Bliss (FF Classics) Paperback – 9 Apr 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 9 Apr 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New Ed edition (9 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571209793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571209798
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,023,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Bliss: the debut novel from twice Booker Prize-winner, Peter Carey, author of Amnesia, Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang. Beautiful Faber Firsts edition to commemorate Faber's 80th Anniversary. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Twice winner of the Booker Prize, Peter Carey's most recent novel Parrot and Olivier in America was described by the New Yorker as 'a comic masterpiece' and by the Sunday Times as 'an exhilarating tour-de-force'. It was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and a National Book Award in 2010.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Harry Joy is an advertising executive who thinks he has died and gone to Hell (and with the life and family he has that's not surprising). Harry is not in Hell though - he's simply had a heart attack followed by successful surgery. However, now his mind is in questionning and mistrusting mode he can finally see what going on in the world and how wrong some of it is. Harry tries to set about 'being Good', but that's harder than it seems.

This is an original, insightful and quirky book, positively strange in places, sometimes fun, but always poetically written. At one or two points I wondered if I was actually enjoying it, but having reached the end I'm very glad I did. Thought provoking and definitely worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
In my view, this is Peter Carey's best novel. A sublime mix of social comment, wit and drama. I'm not going to say anything about the plot as it's so good I wouldn't want to spoil a single page!
Not quite as outlandish as his later novels, and all the more enjoyable for it.
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Format: Paperback
I always think that one of the major signs of a great writer is someone who can make you laugh out loud. It’s a rare and precious gift and I was laughing loud through this. What a truly weird and wild read this is. I've heard a lot about the author but this is my first time reading him and I was impressed by his plucky, off centre take on things here. This is a deep and dark voyage into greed, happiness, materialism and mental illness whilst trying to do the right thing. All pulled off in a fairly original way too.

A deftly written novel that has shades of McEwan, Amis and even A.M. Homes and it’s no surprise that Peter Carey went onto become as successful and popular as he is now.
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Format: Paperback
Bliss is a lively, entertaining, and thought-provoking seriocomic novel, and Peter Carey is a terrifically amusing writer with a great ear for dialogue, a wry humor, and a broad vision. He delights in poking fun of us and our foibles, while saving his barbs for corporations and institutions. Although Bliss is enjoyable, I would have enjoyed it much more when it was published in 1981. Bliss is a bit dated now--still well worth reading and lots of fun, with many extremely funny scenes--but less relevant with its environmental messages and its anti-Big Business needling than it must have been when these messages were fresh, new, and more importantly, uncommon. As it is, Carey's approach now feels a bit patronizing at times and the environmental message, a bit didactic.
The book opens with Harry Joy, an advertising executive, having an out-of-body experience as he "dies" from a heart attack. When he comes back to life, he is convinced that he is in Hell. Since his wife is having an affair with his business partner, his son is selling drugs, and his daughter is a sexually precocious junkie, it is easy to see why Harry is convinced that his life is Hell and why he feels a captive to it. As he seeks enlightenment, he meets Honey Barbara, an environmentally conscious prostitute with a heart of green.
Carey's satire here includes the vagaries of religious doctrine, the absurdities of police procedure, the abuses of the mental health "industry" and its institutions, the fear of Communist conspiracies, and even of the trustee selection process for the State Gallery, which draws from "the very inner circle of society." It is lots of fun to read, with some laugh-out-loud funny scenes, but its thematic punch seems to have dulled a bit over time. Mary Whipple
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