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Oscar and Lucinda Hardcover – 28 Mar 1988

4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 28 Mar 1988
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (28 Mar. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571148123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571148127
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,019,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Oscar Hopkins is a high-strung preacher's kid with hydrophobia and noisy knees. Lucinda Leplastrier is a frizzy-haired heiress who impulsively buys a glass factory with the inheritance forced on her by a well-intentioned adviser. In the early parts of this lushly written book, author Peter Carey renders the seminal turning points in his protagonists' childhoods as exquisite 19th-century set pieces. Young Oscar, denied the heavenly fruit of a Christmas pudding by his cruelly stern father, forever renounces his father's religion in favour of the Anglican Church. "Dear God," Oscar prays, "if it be Thy will that Thy people eat pudding, smite him!" Lucinda's childhood trauma involves a beautiful doll bought by her struggling mother with savings from the jam jar; in a misguided attempt to tame the doll's unruly curls, young Lucinda mutilates her treasure beyond repair. Neither of these coming-of-age stories quite explains how the grown-up Oscar and Lucinda each develop a guilty passion for gambling. Oscar plays the horses while at school, and Lucinda, now an orphaned heiress, finds comfort in a game of cards with an odd collection of acquaintances. When the two finally meet, on board a ship bound for New South Wales, they are bound by their affinity for risk, their loneliness and their awkwardly blossoming (but unexpressed) mutual affection. Their final high-stakes folly-- transporting a crystal palace of a church across (literally) godforsaken terrain--strains plausibility, and events turn ghastly as Oscar plays out his bid for Lucinda's heart. Yet even the unconvincing plot turns are made up for by Carey's rich prose and the tale's unpredictable outcome. Although love proves to be the ultimate gamble for Oscar and Lucinda, the story never strays too far from the terrible possibility that even the most thunderstruck lovers can remain isolated in parallel lives. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

We have a great novelist living on the planet with us, and his name is Peter Carey.
"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
The stuff of shimmering transparent fantasy, held together by the struts of 19th-century history and the millions of painstaking details.
"Time"
A kind of rollercoaster ride . . . .The reader emerges . . . gasping, blinking, reshaped in a hundred ways, conscious that the world is never going to look the same again.
"The Washington Post Book World"
Carey luxuriates in language . . . . [Oscar & Lucinda is] a brilliant success.
"San Francisco Chronicle"
It is Thomas Wolfe one is reminded of most when reading Peter Carey . . . they share that magnificent vitality, that ebullient delight in character, detail and language that turns a novel into an important book.
"The New York Times Book Review"
[Oscar & Lucinda] is very, very hard to put down. There are many pleasures to be had here, chief among them the author s gift for telling fascinating, entertaining stories . . . . Like the characters of Charles Dickens and Honore de Balzac, Mr. Carey s creations are real in the simplest human sense.
"Washington Times"
A commanding writer with laser eye for detail and luxuriant narrative gifts.
"Wall Street Journal"
Peter Carey is to Sydney what Joyce was to Dublin . . . an absolute master of language and storytelling.
Thomas Keneally
Carey can write. He is funny, humane, and profound.
"The Literary Review" (London)
The well of talent from which Peter Carey draws his tales produces work as sweet and refreshing as a mineral spring . . . . Carey nears the summit occupied by Borges and Pynchon and a very few others.
Harlan Ellison
[Carey] works a literary territory all his own, combining elements of absurdism, black humor, social satire and old-fashioned family saga . . . a pleasure.
"Miami Herald"

"From the eBook edition."" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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on 15 August 2005
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