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The unusual life of Tristan Smith (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Peter Carey

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507720,055 (3.68)17
Member:TheWasp
Title:The unusual life of Tristan Smith
Authors:Peter Carey
Info:University of Queensland Press (1994), Unknown Binding, 422 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2012

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The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith by Peter Carey (1994)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Peter Carey is to literature what Terry Gilliam is to filmmaking. Carey creates densely detailed worlds while familiar at a first glance are askew from reality on a second glance. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 6, 2014 |
AWESOME! Love this book ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a very unusual story, which fortunately, is very well written.
When Tristan Smith is born, with deformities so severe people are repulsed when they look at him, he has three possible fathers, the handsome actor Bill, Wally the art director of the Feu Follet (Foo Follay) Circus which Tristan's mother owns and Vincent, whose wife is not Tristan's mother.
The story is based in the mythical country of Efica which is struggling to maintain it's identity against the cultural invasion of the neighbouring Voorstand.
We follow Tristan into young adulthood as he strives to achieve his dreams, supported by his unusual family. ( )
1 vote TheWasp | Nov 19, 2012 |
A departure from Jack Maggs; think Geek Love, maybe, or A Prayer for Owen Meany. ( )
  sonyau | Jul 14, 2009 |
This book is an excellent read for anyone wanting to get the perspective of a society on the receiving end of imperialism and colonialism. It's a not-too-hidden take on a small country that has been colonized, culturally as well as physically, by a large superpower. Americans in particular would do well to read this to get a sense of the conflicting sentiments that American power and culture provokes in other societies.

The story itself is strange and wandering, but the overall effect is wonderful. ( )
1 vote sabreader | Sep 7, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679760369, Paperback)

From a writer whom Thomas Keneally calls "one of the great figures on the cusp of the millennium" comes a novel that conjures an entire world that suggests our own, but tilted on its axis—a world whose most powerful country, Voorstand, dominates its neighbors with ruthless espionage and its mesmerizing but soul-destroying Sirkus.

Into that world comes Tristan Smith, a malformed, heroically willful, and unforgivingly observant child. Tristan's life includes adventure and loss, political intrigue, and a bizarre stardom in the Voorstand Sirkus, where animals talk and human performers die real deaths. The result is a visionary picaresque, staggering in its inventions, spellbinding in its suspense, and unabashedly moving.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A satire on Australia and its relationship to the U.S. The protagonist is actor Tristan Smith, a dwarf. He is a citizen of Effica, a small country whose theater is overshadowed by Voorstand, a big country with a culture that dominates the world. The novel follows him to Voorstand where his father became a famous actor by selling his soul. Tristan, too, achieves fame, but his career is cut short when the Voorstand authorities declare him a subversive.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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