Read Jack Maggs by Peter Carey Online


Peter Carey's new novel, set in London in 1837, is a thrilling story of mesmerism and possession, of dangerous bargains and illicit love. Jack Maggs, raised and deported as a criminial, has returned from Australia, in secret and at great risk. What does he want after all these years, and why is he so interested in the comings and goings at a plush townhouse in Great QueenPeter Carey's new novel, set in London in 1837, is a thrilling story of mesmerism and possession, of dangerous bargains and illicit love. Jack Maggs, raised and deported as a criminial, has returned from Australia, in secret and at great risk. What does he want after all these years, and why is he so interested in the comings and goings at a plush townhouse in Great Queen Street? And why is Jack himself an object of such interest to Tobias Oates, celebrated author, amateur hypnotist and fellow-burglar - in this case of people's minds, of their histories and inner phantoms?...

Title : Jack Maggs
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571193776
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 327 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jack Maggs Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-04-19 16:04

    a tidy, pleasant entry within the wildly popular Victorian Mystery subgenre. or in this case, the slightly pre-Victorian Mystery subgenre. what is it about this era that holds so much fascination for readers? the most obvious guess is that the fans of these fictions always know that they will be enjoying luxurious expanses of gothic description, built on a foundation of cosseted repression meets wondrous discovery. Jack Maggs does not fail to satisfy on that level - and it is about a tenth the size of most of its kin.the central character is foreboding and completely loveable, and the supporting characters are suitably dickensian yet multi-leveled in a very modern way. the plot is an elaborate series of charades, false paths and red herrings. the writing is splendid: quaintly victorian in style, naturally, but also at times as yearning as some of the characters themselves. much like its title character, it is a grim bit of business on the surface but a gentle and sweet book at heart - the kind of book that makes me want to befriend the is probably irresponsible to review the novel without mentioning its antecedent, Dickens' Great Expectations. i'm a fan of secret heroes within novels (Snape! Mr. Norrell! Ariel Hawksquill! Bunter!) and Magwitch has always been the not-so-secret hero of dickens' classic. Jack Maggs does no disservice to Pip's fearsome benefactor; the novel is almost an ode to that character. and it is satisfying, in a spiteful kind of way, to see Pip transformed into an essentially worthless cad. you always were a fookin' jackass, Pip.all that said, the author's Oscar and Lucinda is his benchmark for me, so far.

  • Paul
    2019-04-08 21:58

    An almost 4 stars rounded upThis is an intelligent reworking of Great Expectations from the point of view of the convict; the eponymous Jack Maggs. Carey has a habit of doing this in his novels. The Unusual life of Tristan Smith relates to Sterne and Oscar and Lucinda is a reworking of Gosse’s Father and Son. Carey populates the novel with fantastical characters and fully immerses himself in Dickensian London with some vivid descriptive passages. Jack Maggs returns from Australia in secret (he has been transported for life); just before he was transported an orphan boy Henry Phipps did him a good turn and Maggs has become his benefactor allowing him the life of a gentleman. In this novel, unlike the original the Pip (or Phipps) character is thoroughly unlikeable. Maggs takes a position as a footman to bide his time and is brought to the attention of a struggling writer Tobias Oates (in actuality Dickens). The plot takes many twists and turns and vividly drawn minor characters come and go with great frequency. Carey is more open than Dickens could be and we have homosexuality, sexual passion, the brutality of the prison system, child prostitution and the abortion trade. There are powerful descriptions of Maggs as a child being taught how to steal and being sent down a chimney for the first time. The Victorian passion for mesmerism and magnetism and there is some wonderful tomfoolery around this. Oates (the Dickens character) doesn’t come out of this very well. He is a trickster journalist with an already complex private life who steals Maggs’s story for his own purposes. There is plenty of melodrama, violence, twists and turns, an unlikely and surprising heroine, lots of secrets (some confessed, some not), grief and loss. The poor and downtrodden and their lives feature heavily as they do in Dickens. Carey is an Australian author and although this is an homage, it is also, I think a counterblast and a spot of revenge done with a good deal of verve and panache. This is an enjoyable reworking that trundles along at a great pace; an enjoyable and not too demanding read.

  • Brian
    2019-04-01 21:21

    A post-colonial reworking of the story of Great Expectations, Jack Maggs is the tale of a transported convict who returns secretly to England to see Henry Phipps, the adopted son whose education he has financed. Unlike Great Expectations however, the convict's story is the central narrative of the book, rather than that of the young gentleman he has secretly fostered. Jack Maggs has known very little kindness in his life and this does not change when he finally meets up with Henry. He returns to Australia after the meeting having witnessed the destruction of the dream he had nourished for so many years.Running parallel to the narrative of Jack Maggs is the story of the novelist, Tobias Oates, clearly based on Charles Dickens, who encounters Maggs by chance in the household of a friend. Entangled in a relationship with his wife's sister, struggling to survive financially, and always looking for new material, Oates becomes fascinated with the convict's violent history, almost to his own undoing.I never find Peter Carey an easy read. Nonetheless, this is a richly textured book, full of resonance. The language is muscular, the voice compelling and the whole thing seems to be attended by a dark energy that brings the story and the characters to life with startling clarity

  • Vit Babenco
    2019-04-21 22:58

    Time and place were chosen specially to make this magnificent stylization to Charles Dickens particularly credible.“Now, each day in the Morning Chronicle, each fortnight in the Observer, it was Tobias Oates who ‘made’ the City of London. With a passion he barely understood himself, he named it, mapped it, widened its great streets, narrowed its dingy lanes, framed its scenes with the melancholy windows of his childhood. In this way, he invented a respectable life for himself: a wife, a babe, a household. He had gained a name for comic tales. He had got himself, along the way, a little belly, a friend who was a titled lady, a second friend who was a celebrated actor, a third friend who was a Knight of the Realm, a fourth friend who was an author and tutor to the young Princess Victoria. He did not dare look down, so far had he come.Until this morning, when his fun and games had killed a man.Then the doctor had cast him out, and this criminal, this outcast, had felt himself free to pick him up and shake him as though he were nothing but a rabbit.”Everything is not what it seems and do-gooders turn into villains and criminals become saints – well, almost. And in the end good wins as it always should…

  • Michael Shilling
    2019-04-03 00:15

    Interesting to read a book about Victorians that is completely driven by dialogue, as opposed to the thick soup of expository language that is sometimes beautiful -- such as in Bleak House -- and sometimes awful -- such as in Bleak House. And on that note, Carey doesn't write like Dickens at all; with Carey, you don't the intense highs and lugubrious lows, but you do get to start a book you may actually finish.

  • Maria Thomarey
    2019-03-28 19:24

    3,5 απολαυστικό

  • Subiaco Library
    2019-04-06 22:18

    The story goes that Peter Carey read Charles Dickens‘s Great Expectations and felt that the convict character Magwitch, as an example of an early Australian, was treated badly. Carey also thought that perhaps Dickens‘s had known a person like Magwitch and had unfairly exploited his misfortune. An inspired Carey set out to write Jack Maggs. Maggs is a Magwitch type character and there is also Tobias Oates, writer and practitioner of magnetism (hypnotism), who is an analogue of Dickens.At first I found Jack Maggs to be compelling reading. Carey uses short episodic chapters that keep the narrative ticking along. However the novel did drag slightly through the middle sections. Maggs is a complex character with a traumatic past and an idealistic notion of his relationship with his ‗adopted son‘ - Phipps, whom he has returned to London to visit. Maggs‘s story intertwines with Tobias Oates, with the latter manipulating Maggs to better his storytelling abilities.Initially enthralling, this premise failed to sustain my interest eventually. Carey‘s descriptive powers are all class however. The London of the 1800‘s comes alive beautifully throughout the novel. You can easily visualise the dirty streets and smell the gas from faulty streetlights in the air. Carey has also done his research, with all kinds of strange little facts from the era cropping up in the narrative.Carey is an accomplished writer and Jack Maggs does offer the reader colourful characters, a vivid setting and a reasonably compelling narrative. However the novel has something intangible missing, that something that makes you think about the novel and what it had to say for days or weeks afterwards. For me, Jack Maggs simply faded away almost as soon as I finished reading it. It had done its job competently, but didn‘t quite have that spark of a really special novel.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-08 17:05

    Dedication: For AlisonAuthor's Note: The author willingly admits to having once or twice stretched history to suit his own historical ends.Front quote ia a lengthy extract from Du magnétisme animal (1820) by Armand Marie Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de Puységur.Opening: It was a Saturday night when the man with the red waistcoat arrived in London. It was, to be precise, six of the clock on the fifteenth of April in the year of 1837 that those hooded eyes looked out the window of the Dover coach and beheld, in the bright aura of the gas light, a golden bull and an overgrown mouth opening to devour him - the sign of his inn, the Golden Ox.tbr busting 2013winter 2012/2013victorianamysteryhardbackone penny wonderpaper readfictiondickensphernaliaabandonedGiven my strong likes, this should have been right up there with dongs hanging down to the knees. Instead I found it belaboured and stilted. There are enough Carey fans out there to make up for my disinterest.Next!!As my first TBR Busting 2013, one would hope this is not a trend for the year *weak gromit smile*

  • Shawn Lahr
    2019-03-30 21:21

    What a fun book to read! I was thoroughly caught up in the story and in the weirdness of Carey's Dickensian characters. I was especially delighted to dislike Percy Buckle at first, then to like him and think him nobel for saving poor Mercy Larkin--I thought he would be a kind of traditional Dickensian minor hero--then to despise him even more for learning what he does to her, and finally to laugh at him as he encounters his injured front door. And yet, somehow, I feel pity for him as Mercy sees his weakness...his loss of control of his great house as Maggs takes charge. There are a few levels to this book. One level investigates the effects of colonialism on the mind of Jack Maggs: how he recreates this fantastic London in his mind for Henry Phipps to inhabit, but which he cannot ever experience himself.

  • Adrienne Jones
    2019-04-11 16:19

    Because of a love for Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang I picked up this book at a library used book sale, and it sat in a box for over a year.Late one night I found myself without any late night reading material. A recently unpacked copy of Jack Maggs stared back at me from our book shelves.What a fabulous find. The period, setting, and characters are often compared with Dickens, but they so exceed Dickens' 2-dimensional approach.I stayed up much later than late to find out the mysterious background of Maggs. Carey likes to peel the polite veneer off some memorably odious characters which usually makes for pleasurable reading (does this enjoyment make me a bad person?).Definitely my new favorite book by the consistently remarkable Peter Carey.

  • Ann
    2019-04-06 16:02

    An engrossing old-fashioned story about a stranger with a mysterious past arriving in London in the 1800s. Jack Maggs lives an adventure, with twisting, turning motives and secrets. Seeking a man at an abandoned house, he is taken on as a footman at the house next door, merely because of his height. Learning the skills of the job prove to be hilarious, though there is the looming threat of the hangman's noose. Mesmerism is the manner that reveals some of his criminal past, as does a letter he writes in invisible ink. Memorable characters and fantastic situations make this a gripping page-turner that is full of delicious surprises. Think Dickens under the influence of Dan Brown.

  • Phillip
    2019-04-06 19:19

    Second Review: This is a very cool book, combining its Dickensian inspiration with a more modern Victorian crime feel, almost with the atmosphere of a lot of steampunk works, but without the gadgets. Definitely a set of compelling characters, again both building off the foundation Dickens laid in Great Expectations, but clearly reworked from a contemporary standpoint--postcolonial, post-Freudian, postmodern, etc. I am working on an article about how Carey adapts Great Expectations and how the various narrative voices play against/with one another to promote a kind of heteroglossic hybridity, a process which I would argue is foundational to adaptation as a form, and is in some ways more overt than the heteroglossia that Bakhtin argues is fundamental to the novel, because adaptations are intertextual, which adds another specific layer of voice(s) in play with/against each other.Original Review: I really liked this book as I was reading it, and I found I liked it even more after we began discussing it in class today. Carey's style is Dickens-esque, but in such a way that draws our attention to the ackwardness of approaching Dickens as a modern reader--many of the slang terms his audience would have known are foreign to us today, many of the place names meaningless in post-blitz London (even more so for those unfamiliar with either contemporary or historical London), and his narrative patterns are marked by the problems and processes of serialization. Carey reproduces many of these conventions, but at the same time it is impossible to avoid the fact that he is a 20th century author (that is, post-Marx, post-Freud, postmodern, post-imperial). For instance, the sex scenes Carey creates would be quite at home in a modern novel, but are strikingly un-Dickensian.The other element that really interested me (and I plan to write my conference paper for the class on this subject) is the interplay of (pseudo-)science and narrative. As Lyotard argues in The Postmodern Condition, science constructs a series of narratives to explain natural or observed phenomena and then presents these narratives as truth. In this novel, 'sciences' that have now been discredited--somnambulism and physiognomy (sp?) most prominently--are tied to the character of the author, Tobias Oates, who stands in for Charles Dickens. The fact that Oates misreads phenomena, or creates his own phenomena and then reads them as pre-existing undercuts the reliability of any kind of knowledge because we see exposed the faulty undercurrents of any knowledge based on narrative (and as Lyotard would argue, all knowledges are based on narrative).

  • Patrick
    2019-03-28 23:06

    I'm going to start with a disclaimer, I'm a fan of Peter Carey. A few years ago, I picked "My Life as a Fake" off the library bookshelf without knowing a thing about Peter Carey. I enjoyed it so much I read "True History of the Kelley Gang" and was blown away. I think "Jack Maggs" is brilliant, although I'm not the person to offer a neutral assessment. "Jack Maggs" begins with the title character's arrival in 1837 London. He's a wealthy guy looking for a Henry Phipps, but Phipps has fled his home. Maggs pretends to be a servant and is soon invited to work for Phipps' neighbor, Percy Buckle. Mr. Buckle's friend, Tobias Oates is an aspiring writer and amateur hypnotist. Mr. Oates claims to know of a "thief-taker" who can track down anyone in England. Mr. Oates makes a deal with Maggs to perform Somnambulism on Maggs in exchange for information on where to find a "thief-taker" so Maggs can find Phipps.Carey is brilliant in dropping morsels along the way about Maggs as we're drawn into Buckle's and Oates' household. Not to be outdone by the guys, Mercy Larkin, Mary Oates, and Mary' sister Lizzy take on important roles as the story is told.For my friends who enjoy classics, Carey has admitted "jack Maggs" is his taking a risk on the retelling of Great Expectations. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as i did.

  • James Barker
    2019-04-01 18:04

    'Great Expectations' is one of my favourite of the classics, and ever since reading 'The true History of the Kelly Gang' I believe Peter Carey is unsurpassable at his best. So, this post-colonial re-telling of Pip's benefactor, the glorious Magwitch, should have been right up my street.Well, it was and it wasn't. Carey manages to get into the heart (and bowels) of Victorian London and his descriptive skill is as sharp as ever. The cast of supporting characters are appropriately Dickensian but have more layers, courtesy of the modern writer's scalpel pen. But the story doesn't do enough for me. It plodded along. it was a struggle to get through the pages. No doubt Carey wanted to redress the balance regarding one of the first stories of an early (fictional) Australian in the same way he empathised with the realities of Ned Kelly's life. But Jack Maggs is not a man of enough action. He is held under another's sway and the back-story suggests this is nothing new. Pip's re-birthing as the cold-hearted, homosexual cad Mr Phipps is grist to the post-colonial mill. It further victimises Maggs, a touch too much.Interesting but flawed.

  • Merilee
    2019-04-10 20:23

    Really 4.5. Another really good book (sort of) based on Great Expectations. Carey has wonderful characters.

  • Zuberino
    2019-03-24 18:17

    বই রিভিউ - একটি এক্সপেরিমেন্ট

  • Frank
    2019-04-15 00:26

    I've had this book on my shelves for close to ten years. I know I originally acquired this because it is on the list of "1001 books you must read before you die." To me, the books on this list are kind of hit and miss but this one was well worth reading. It is basically a reworking of Dickens' Great Expectations from the point of view of the convict, Jack Maggs (Magwitch). Maggs has returned illegally from his exile in Australia to seek out the young man who did him a favor just before Maggs was transported to Australia. Maggs has become the boy's benefactor but the boy, Henry Phipps (Pip), has not reciprocated Maggs' generosity. Maggs ends up working as a footman in a household where he meets a struggling writer Tobias Oates (Dickens). Oates is proficient at somnambulism and is able to find out about Maggs' background while he is mesmerized and intends to use Maggs story as the basis for a novel. The plot has many twists and turns with many well-drawn characters. The story deals with many things that Dickens could not have portrayed in his novels including sexual passion, homosexuality, prostitution, and abortion. There are powerful scenes of how Maggs was forced into thievery at a young age including being forced down a chimney to open the door to the thieves. There are lots of twists and depictions of the poor and downtrodden, violence, secrets, joy and loss. Overall, I would definitely recommend this reworking of a Dickens classic. It was easy to read and very enjoyable.

  • Luke
    2019-04-11 17:12

    Peter Carey became one of my favourite authors from my HSC study of Oscar and Lucinda. I suspect the reason behind this was that that work was set in the same period as some of the other (to my younger self) fusty works but brimmed with self-confidence and interest. I've managed to reread it on an almost yearly basis since I first devoured it (the night before a reading diary was due - one I'd supposedly been writing all holidays) though in the years since I've discovered that this compulsive consumption is common where Carey's involved: something certainly true of Jack Maggs.The book is another interpretation of an existing work. As Oscar and Lucinda is to Patrick White's Voss, so is Jack Maggs to Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. It's not a direct crib, more an exploration of the feeling of the original. Obviously there's difference in names, but the main players - Maggs, Phipps and Oates - are stand-ins for Abel Magwitch, Pip, and Dickens himself.Hang about, Dickens? Yep, Dickens. Oates appears in the story to enable Carey to examine the process of writing and to provide a thumbnail sketch of a Dickens figure in the extremity before real success strikes. For all the ostensible Great Expectations moments - the novel tells the story of a convict's return from the destination of his transportation in order to meet the object of his largesse - this book is really about the process of bringing text to the page. Writing is difficult work, and Carey makes no bones about it. Oates drives himself hard, yet is ruthless about his own weaknesses, whether moral or financial. But he's also possessed of a sort of unshakeable faith in his ability, that the big fish is swimming his way. He just wonders whether he'll be up to catching it. We know Oates is successful in the future - Carey says that much plainly - but the interest is in the struggles of believing the good fortune will be attained. Oates also provides a window into the world of memory. Magnetism (ie: hypnotism) is a big part of the character, and it allows the book to explore the unconscious mind, and the pain of terrible memory. Maggs himself is wracked with pained memories, and it's not until the story of his youth unfurls that we understand or share it. As Oscar and Lucinda readers would expect, there's a wealth of period detail here. It's not as larded with grotesque figures as the original, but Carey creates some memorable coves - the asthmatic lawyer, the shyster doctor - to go along with the spirit of things. Maggs is fearsomely well constructed, though - there's just enough of the bloody terror of the Colonies in him, and the imposing nature of Dickens original is fully present. I don't want to say too much more about the book. If you're a fan of Dickens it's good to just dive in without too much prior information, just to see how many references you can pick up. The ending isn't completely satisfactory - it all seems to zip up in a chapter or two - but I suppose there is a little element of that in the original. The portraiture within and the feeling of tension pushing toward a single point make this work well worth your time, though.

  • James
    2019-04-15 18:59

    Have you ever read Great Expectations? The main character Philip Pirrip ,known as Pip, runs into a convict in the opening scene of the novel. This is Abel Magwitch who meets young Pip at a graveyard. Magwitch tricks the seven-year-old boy into believing that he has an accomplice who is a terrible young man who would tear out and eat Pip's heart and liver if Pip did not help them. Pip, terrified, steals a pork pie, brandy and a file from his house and brings them to Magwitch the next morning. The relationship between Pip and Magwitch is integral to the development of this famous novel.Undoubtedly inspired by Magwitch's story in Dickens, the modern-day Australian novelist Peter Carey has in Jack Maggs imagined a retelling of Magwitch's tale. Returning to the historical territory--19th-century Australia and England--of his Booker-winning Oscar and Lucinda (1988), he focuses on 1830s London, where an exiled convict has returned to breathe the air of home and to see his beloved son. Pardoned and prosperous in New South Wales, but still under penalty of death if discovered in England, the fearless Jack Maggs steps out of a coach one evening in London to search for Henry Phipps, the boy he had left behind years before. He discovers Phipps's house, but, finding no one home, Maggs seeks employment as a neighbor's footman in order to keep an eye out for his son's return. He writes letters almost incessantly to explain his past to his boy. In the meantime, at a literary dinner hosted by his new employer, Maggs makes the acquaintance of an up-and-coming young writer, Tobias Oates, whose skill as a mesmerist is needed to cure Maggs of a "fit." Oates, penetrating his "patient's" ruses, recognizes a motherlode of material waiting to be tapped, and offers the man a deal: the name of someone who can locate Phipps in exchange for two weeks of demonstrating his ability to engage Maggs's fit-inducing demons through hypnosis. As they meet, however, other forces conspire to alter the scheme of things. The story includes subplots about love affairs involving Phipps and others, but more importantly secrets about Phipps whereabouts are revealed. Carey's complexities of plot also demonstrate gradually that Maggs is honest, fierce, and fabulously deluded. This complicated story benefits from the author's ability to bring the London of Dickens alive and with it characters who echo those first created in the imagination of that literary master's mind.

  • Barb
    2019-04-09 16:04

    I have not read Dickens...*gasps noted*'s true. So, I cannot make any clever comparisons between the two authors' works or make any comment on Carey's depiction of the obsessive author in this novel being like Dickens, I really don't know enough to say. What I do know is that I loved this book. The writing is wonderful, the characters are complex and the story is bittersweet, in other words the perfect recipe for a great novel. It reminded me of 'Fingersmith' by Sarah Waters which is also set in Victorian England, both stories are populated by realistically human characters, with complex personalities, characters that are both loathsome and lovable. There is a very subtle sexual tension and sometimes a subtle sense of humor both of which speak to the author's skill as a writer. I sometimes have a hard time describing what I enjoyed so much in a novel and that is the case here. I just can't say enough how much I enjoyed this novel. It was fun, funny, sad, frightening, clever and satisfying. Another hundred pages would have been great.

  • Julie
    2019-04-16 22:58

    I loved this book! This is the story based on Dickens' Great Expectations, but told through the eyes of Jack Maggs (Magwitch in GE). Maggs meets young orphan Henry Phipps (Pip in GE) as a convict on his way to sentencing in Australia. Henry shows him kindness by giving him some food. Maggs remembers this single act of compassion and after serving his prison sentence and making a large fortune in Australia, sends a large monthly allowance which provides Henry with a very idle and rich life. Maggs has returned to London to see Henry, a boy he considers his son. Henry, although he has enjoyed Maggs' generosity is ashamed and scared of the convict. The story revolves around Maggs' effort to find Henry and tell him his story. The book is fast paced and has some extra plot twists. Strong characters and vivid descriptions of Victorian London made this a quick and very enjoyable read.

  • Kristen
    2019-03-26 20:15

    This is a fun book, especially if you know anything about Charles Dickens' life. Carey tackles the task of giving voice to the Australian convict who gives Pip his inheritance, but in such a way that the character (Jack Maggs) interacts with Dickens. It's a commentary on the appropriation of identity and the inherent dangers that lie in the dictatorship that it entails. But it's also a quick, enjoyable read even if you just skim the surface and stick to the plot. Carey's writing is colorful, authentic and likable.

  • Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
    2019-03-27 17:11

    To be fair, this is probably a really good book, and if I ever read it again, I might just like it.Trouble is, I read this book when I was 12. Ummm....that was a mistake on my part (and my parents, haha), but still--quite disturbing! And pretty sure I won't be reading it again for awhile, just because every time I think of it, I always remember "that scene." :[Anyway, the moral of the story is--parents, check what your kids are reading! And kids, I don't care how mature you are, some stuff just isn't meant for you :P

  • Timothy Moriarty
    2019-04-18 23:58

    I quit Maggs about halfway through. I wanted to like it; it's got a Dickens-like ring to it, though leaner language, much more narrow scope, very slight attempt at humor or warmth....hell, I tried not to compare it to Dickens, but whether I succeeded or not is an open question. I just know I grew bored, then actively irritated. No characters to latch onto, everyone's motives very murky with no light in sight - just not much life to it and very little interesting detail of the period, unless you find mesmerism fascinating. Pass.

  • Sylvester
    2019-03-25 00:07

    2.5* I can't decide whether the tie to "Great Expectations" helps this book or not. If I could have read it without thinking about how it was different from or similar to the Dickens plot, I think I would have enjoyed it more. Not to say that I didn't enjoy it. Carey is an excellent writer, and this book, of the ones I've read, was the easiest to read by far. My advice to those wanting to read this - think of it as a study of Jack Maggs as a character, rather than reading with the shades of "Great Expectations" looking over your shoulder.

  • Bron
    2019-04-18 17:05

    Nearly gave up several times!! Took a while to work out what was going on and thee were several annoying characters, one of whom was Maggs himself. However, I became engaged and found it amusing and then poignant. I always find Carey difficult to read and have only finished a few of his books, but the ones i do finish i love. Wouldn't say I loved this one to the same degree as Oscar & Lucinda, but it was a good read.

  • Nell
    2019-04-20 19:02

    This book has all the fun of Dickens without the long sentences but with the twisty turny plot and cast of orphans, criminals, charlatans, arrivistes, and backyard abortionists. There's a bit in the middle where nothing happens for a while but don't be put off, stuff eventually starts happening again and it's great!

  • Alison
    2019-04-17 19:12

    Deported to Oz, JM returns to find his 'son'. explores his power over others -the 'criminal' vs power of mesmerising/ magnetism, hypnotism and possession. Good story, Dickensian flavour.vivid people and places

  • Pamela
    2019-04-08 17:07

    I loved this book. It reveals the dark side of Dickens' Great Expectations, and its postcolonialism haunts in much the same way of Wide Sargasso Sea.

  • Denae
    2019-04-03 19:16

    It is not as good as Oscar and Lucinda, but it has a blasphemous energy that I loved!