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A Long Way from Home

Narrated by: Eloise Oxer, Amos Phillips
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Summary

The late style masterpiece from Peter Carey, twice winner of the Booker Prize.

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in rural southeastern Australia. Together with Willie, their lanky navigator, they embark upon the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive.

A Long Way from Home is Peter Carey's late style masterpiece - a thrilling high-speed story that starts in one way then takes you to another place altogether. Set in the 1950s in the embers of the British Empire, painting a picture of Queen and subject, black, white and those in between, this brilliantly vivid novel illustrates how the possession of an ancient culture spirals through history - and the love made and hurt caused along the way.

©2017 Peter Carey (P)2018 Bolinda

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding. My new favourite writer

As a petrol-head I was looking forward to the motor-sport, and I wasn’t disappointed, it was described with poetical beauty. But it was the people of the story who grabbed me and took me away to their 1950’s Australian lives. And in the end the story itself, has up-ended so much of what I thought I kind of knew. It’s frank, compelling, important, all that literary stuff. It’s also brilliant.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb Book of 2018 Nomination

This has to be one of the best books I have listened to on Audible or read. It's a rich story of culture race and racism, life and love. A most excellent book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable but not the story I was expecting

The author uses the Redex Trial, a car race around 1950s Australia, as the vehicle (excuse the pun) for several different story lines: the dissection of the marriage of Irene and ‘Titch’ Bobs; the gradual unearthing by their navigator, Willie Bachhuber, of who he really is; and an exploration of the appalling history of the treatment of the aborigines and their culture.  For me, the parts involving Willie and his journey of discovery were more compelling than either the events of the race or the relationship between the Bobs. In any event, the latter rather disappears into the background as the book progresses and anyone reading or listening to it mainly for coverage of the race will be disappointed.

The two narrators (Irene and Willie) worked well and the performances had an authentic feel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic storytelling.

From the first sentence to the last, I fell under the spell of this tale of identity, racism, sexism, history, adventure and family life/strife in 1950s Australia.

Peter Carey has a wonderful knack of exploring important and enormous moral issues within the context of an entertaining and beautifully written novel. The complex and original characters, plus the compelling plot made for an interesting and thought-provoking experience. An absolute gem.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A long way from a novel about a car race!

Enjoyable and thought provoking. Some emotional scenes in the closing chapters. However, echoing earlier comments, it was a shame that we didn't get to find out what happened to the other characters who formed such an important part of the narrative.

A note to any more genteel readers: a fair bit of swearing and generally lewd talk comes out of the mouths of a small number of the story"s protagonists. However this is entirely contextual and is integral to the characterisation.

A fantastic return to form by one of my favourite writers.

1 person found this helpful