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Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda (1988)

by Peter Carey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,014401,892 (3.78)324
  1. 10
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  2. 00
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  3. 01
    The Colour by Rose Tremain (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Similar (literally) 'builing a new life' story on the other side of the world. Roderick Blackstone (The Colour) has a gambling "System"/debts
  4. 01
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  5. 01
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  6. 03
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Both Oscar and Ripley are afraid of water

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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
"We are alive on the very brink of eternity."

Refreshingly original and multifaceted. [Oscar and Lucinda] are two captivating individuals with unconventional backgrounds. [Peter Carey] demonstrates amazing talent by bringing together these misfits via shared compulsions. What follows is a unpredictable sequence of events leading to an unforgettable journey culminating in an unimaginable conclusion. Fabulous read! ( )
  nlgeorge | Jan 19, 2015 |
A fantastic Carey book. The incredible saga of the converging narratives of Oscar and lucinda. Yes it is dense and at times close to dickens in the level of detail particularly in terms of characterisation. This only serves to make the story stick in your heart and mind long after the last page. A book to read before you die certainly. ( )
  polarbear123 | May 30, 2014 |
Lovely, tragic story of two people who just never quite make it for so many reasons. ( )
  notmyrealname | Jan 23, 2014 |
I didn't actually read this movie tie-in version. The text is the same, obviously, but my paperback has an old print of the Crystal Palace on the cover, all undergraduate intro to architecture -style.

This is one of my favorite books EVAR. It's weird, gothic, grotesque, delicate, intricate, brilliant (wonderfully well-written, and also in the sense of evoking light), horrifying, and exhilirating. None of which words mean much by themselves so I'll try and explain better.

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of logic, organicism, and irrationality in each of the book's major components: characters' attitudes towards religion; gambling; the conception and realization of the glass church; love in various forms. These three forces (phenomena?) drive the plot as they come together, or into conflict time after time.

Clearly i'm not so good at reviewing books. Just...go read this one. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
It's long, at times it's tedious, but it is a book that remains with you long after the last page. The characters of both Oscar and Lucinda are so well drawn and their interaction is told with such tension that it is painful but with generous splashes of humor that just sparkles. I agree with some of the reviewers who feel the ending somewhat loses steam, but that is very minor. Great writing. If you enjoy a historical love story set in a far away land involving two people who are far from ordinary, try "Oscar and Lucinda." ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Careyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Tan, PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Syrier, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Alison Summers with all my love
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If there was a bishop, my mother would have him to tea.
You will preach what you do not believe to men who do not care.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679777504, Paperback)

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 favor 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 grownup 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:24 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A rebellious Anglican priest and a teenaged heiress who buys a glass factory in Australia pursue an unlikely romance.

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