'I don't know if my story is grand enough to be a tragedy, although a lot of shitty stuff did happen. It is certainly a love story but that did not begin until midway through the shitty stuff, by which time I had not only lost my eight-year-old son, but also my house and studio in Sydney where I had once been as famous as a painter could expect in ...
'I don't know if my story is grand enough to be a tragedy, although a lot of shitty stuff did happen. It is certainly a love story but that did not begin until midway through the shitty stuff, by which time I had not only lost my eight-year-old son, but also my house and studio in Sydney where I had once been as famous as a painter could expect in his own backyard ...'So begins Peter Carey's highly charged and lewdly funny new novel. Told by the twin voices of the artist Butcher Bones and his 'damaged 220-pound brother' Hugh, it recounts their adventures and troubles after Butcher's plummeting prices and spiralling drink problem force them to retreat to northern New South Wales. Here the formerly famous artist is reduced to being a caretaker for his biggest collector, and the nurse for his erratic brother. Then the mysterious Marlene turns up one stormy night, clad in a pair of Manolo Blahniks. Claiming that the brothers' friend and neighbour owns an original Jacques Liebovitz, she soon sets in motion a chain of events that could be the making or ruin of them all. Once again displaying Peter Carey's extraordinary flair for language, "Theft" is a love poem of a very different kind. Ranging from the rural wilds of Australia to Manhattan via Tokyo - and exploring themes of art, fraud, responsibility and redemption - this is a great novel which will also make you laugh out loud.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-03-20 Two-time Booker-winner Carey (Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang) returns with a magnificent high-stakes art heist wrapped around a fraternal saga. Butcher Boone is an all-id all-the-time Australian painter of enormous talent and renown. Now divorced and bankrupted by his former wife, who tired of his excesses, Butcher has been reduced to caretaking a remote estate for his largest collector. And since the deaths of his working-class parents, he has also been saddled with his beloved, bedeviling brother, Hugh, who, like Butcher, has a primarily pugilistic relationship with the world. One rain-flooded night, a chic young woman knocks on their door, having lost her way. She is Marlene, wife of Olivier Leibovitz, son and heir to an early 20th-century master. Soon the brothers are embroiled in an international crime investigation that eventually comprises forgery, vast sums of money and murder. None of this, however, distracts Butcher from his overpowering love affair with Marlene, which threatens to leave Hugh stranded in an unforgiving world. Scenes in Australia, Japan and New York feature unique forms of fleecing, but setting and action are icing on the emotional core of Carey's newest masterwork. 75,000 announced first printing. (May 12) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-10-02 Vance splits the difference between Cockney and Aussie in his reading of Carey's tale of art and family. At times, he sounds significantly like Michael Caine in his broad working-class tones, elongating his vowels in an English version of a Southern drawl. For other characters, the Australian in Vance wins out, likely reminding American listeners of Crocodile Dundee or the narrator in those Foster's beer commercials. Vance pulls off both styles admirably in reading Carey's book about two brothers, one a painter and the other a childlike innocent, who are drawn into stealing paintings belonging to the father-in-law of a beautiful stranger. Vance does a credible job of echoing the half-tempo cadences of the impaired Slow Bones, bringing the hurtling pace of his reading to a relative halt each time he wrestles with his dialogue, imitating Slow Bones's thick-tongued efforts to translate thought into speech. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 20). (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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