Peter Carey became one of my favourite authors from my HSC study of Oscar and Lucinda. I suspect the reason behind this was that that work was set in the same period as some of the other (to my younger self) fusty works but brimmed with self-confidence and interest.
I’ve managed to reread it on an almost yearly basis since I first devoured it (the night before a reading diary was due – one I’d supposedly been writing all holidays) though in the years since I’ve discovered that this compulsive consumption is common where Carey’s involved: something certainly true of Jack Maggs.
The book is another interpretation of an existing work. As Oscar and Lucinda is to Patrick White’s Voss, so is Jack Maggs to Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. (more…)