Wednesday, 13 August 2008

My Thoughts: Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey

Peter Carey seems to be one of those authors I just never have got into, I read Oscar and Lucinda for a reading group and I thought it was great in parts but struggled to get through it. I have a few of his other novels, and once even started one but then something happened it got put to one side and never went back to. I got Theft: A Love Story as a bookring, and it still took me a few weeks to pick it up.

The book is set in the art world (something I know only a tine little bit about), on of the main characters is an modern artist, Micheal 'Butcher' Boone. Once Australia's top artist, things got a bit shakey with his career and his personal life. He moves to a small town to live with his brother, Hugh 'Slow Bones' Boone. Hugh has emotional and social difficulties, which require him to recieve constant care from his brother.

The novel tells the story of Butcher's struggle to deal with life out of the limelight, estranged from his wife and son and struggling to look after his brother. One flooded evening a gorgeous American turns up, an art dealer and relation of the artist whose work had inspired Butcher as a teenager. This woman turns his life upside down, getting his work presented in Japan and involving him in the murkier side of the arts world.

The novel is constructed through the voices of the brothers, in alternating chapters. Butcher is fully in love with the American, and fails to see and judge the things happening around him. Meanwhile, Hugh, has far more insight into people and the situations around him.

Carey plays with language and creates an individual voice for each of the brothers. Hugh's chapters are littered with words and phrases which are all capilatilised, I'm not sure if it's just my eyes but I find it harder to read capitalised words, especially when they just randomly appear, they slow me down slightly.
Have you reviewed this book? If so leave a link in the comments and I'll add them into the review


Rose City Reader said...

This book sounds very interesting. Although, I admit I am reluctant to read another Carey novel after The True History of the Kelly Gang, which I found tedious. Oscar and Lucinda has been sitting on my TBR shelf forever for the same reason (and because of lukewarm reviews from several people).

Kya said...

I'm interested to hear what you said about this book. I read another Peter Carey book, My Life As A Fake, which I found very imaginative and strange. Good review!