“The Australian double Booker Prize-winner returns with a novel of road racing and postcolonial reckoning set in the small-town Victoria of his youth.”



This novel takes place in 1954 in Australia and is about the infamous Redex Trial car race that would take drivers on a race around the entire continent. The main characters are the Bob family which consists of Titch and his wife Irene, who have two children, and their neighbor Willie Bachhuber.

Willie is a former teacher and has recently been a consistent winner on a radio quiz program. Titch is considered the best car salesman in the country, and when he is granted a new car dealership with the local General Motors, he decides to enter the race with his wife as a publicity stunt. When Willie finally loses on the quiz show, he is asked by Irene to come along as their Navigator.

The race will introduce us to many interesting characters, amongst them Aborigines who are treated very poorly by the white population. We shall see how the main characters will interact with these local folks, how the rigors and tension will start to affect a marriage, and how the secret Willie hides from all will finally come home to roost. As the story is mostly told through the eyes of Irene and Willie, the insight into their personal lives is immediate and complete.

Mr. Carey is a two time winner of the Man-Booker prize so those already familiar with his work will know what an excellent story teller he his. For those of you who read him for the first time, you are in for a treat.

Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 20th April 2018

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Richard Franco