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The Tax Inspector by Peter Carey
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The Tax Inspector (1991)

by Peter Carey

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700920,312 (3.37)31
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Imaginative but depressing and, in the end, it seems pointless. Not my cup of tea. ( )
  NaggedMan | Nov 1, 2016 |
Peter Carey is one of those authors whose personal life seeps into their writing in interesting, identifiable ways. His years working for an advertising agency and then living on a hippie commune in Queensland are very evident in Bliss, and the fact that his parents owned a car dealership in a small town can be seen in Illywhacker, where Herbert Badgery spends much of his time in the 1920s selling Fords to farmers. It’s even more relevant in The Tax Inspector, which revolves around the Catchprice family and their failing auto dealership in the outer suburbs of Sydney in the early 1990s.

It’s tempting to say that Peter Carey is a hit or miss author depending on whether he’s writing historical fiction or not; I loved Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang, all of which are historical novels, but didn’t like Bliss and was indifferent to The Tax Inspector. But I feel like that must be a coincidence, because there’s something lacking from the writing which has nothing to do with the era in which it’s set. The Tax Inspector rambles along a series of unlikely events and unbelievable characters in the same way that an early Michael Chabon or Jonathon Lethem novel might, and no single passage of prose holds the same sticking power as Ned Kelly and his changeling host in True History of the Kelly Gang, or the Aboriginal tribe discovering and keeping Lucinda’s shards of glass in the aftermath of a massacre in Oscar and Lucinda. It doesn’t feel like it amounts to something worthwhile in the same way that even one of his middling novels like Jack Maggs does.

The Tax Inspector is not a bad novel but not a great one either. If I didn’t know any better – if you gave me his books and asked me to arrange them in chronological order – I’d say The Tax Inspector feels much more like a sophomore novel Carey might have written after Bliss, rather than a follow-up to the literary powerhouses that actually precede it. ( )
  edgeworth | Sep 29, 2014 |
Following a tip off, tax inspector Maria Takis, is sent to audit Catchprice Motors, a struggling family owned motor vehicle dealership. But her heart is not in destroying small family businesses and she is 32 weeks pregnant. The story spans four days in the lives of the Catchprice family and Maria.
the family reveals more than Maria bargained for and she becomes far more involved in their life than she anticipated.
Peter Carey creates such vivid characters, both tragic and funny in this slightly over the top story, which I found very hard to put down. ( )
  HelenBaker | Dec 14, 2011 |
I found this book too awful to finish, it deals with some very difficult themes that I could not cope with. 15 years on it still haunts me in my nightmares. ( )
  Tifi | Jun 19, 2010 |
A fun, quirky read and Australian slice-of-life for a tax inspector and her "buddies". ( )
  Martin444 | Dec 10, 2009 |
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In the morning Cathy McPherson put three soft-boiled eggs outside Benny Catchprice's door and in the afternoon she fired him from the Spare Parts Department.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679735984, Paperback)

Granny Catchprice runs her family business (and her family) with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives. Her daughter Cathy would rather be singing Country & Western than selling cars, while Benny Catchprice, sixteen and seriously psychopathic, wants to transform a failing auto franchise into an empire—and himself into an angel. Out of the confrontation between the Catchprices and their unwitting nemesis, a beautiful and very pregnant agent of the Australian Taxation Office, Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda, creates an endlessly surprising and fearfully convincing novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

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