Jack Maggs

Front Cover
University of Queensland Press, Jan 1, 1998 - Fiction - 417 pages
10 Reviews
First published in 1997, this novel won the 1997 Age Fiction Book of the Year, the 1998 Commonwealth Writers Prize, and the 1998 Miles Franklin Award. Jack Maggs risks death by hanging when he returns to London from Australia to locate a young aristocrat. Based on characters from Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations'. The author's other publications include 'Oscar and Lucinda' which won the Booker Prize in 1988.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
5
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PhilipJHunt - LibraryThing

Almost 20 years since publication, "Jack Maggs" retains its freshness. Its setting, in the increasingly remote and therefore increasingly romantic, past of Australian history helps (although footnote ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PilgrimJess - LibraryThing

Homage to Dickens. This is the first book that I have read by Peter Carey and was recommended to it by a friend but whilst I can see why she and others liked it it just didn't really do it for me ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Empathy and the Novel
Suzanne Keen
Limited preview - 2007
All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Born in Bacchus Marsh, a country town in the southern state of Victoria, in 1943, Peter Carey has put his Australian background to good use. Yet, even though he consistently writes about Australia, he is far from a regionalist. His writing is marked by its wit, flights of imagination, clear style, solid characterization, and rich texture. He brings to all his fiction a cosmopolitan quality and metaphysical dimension that has led critics to compare his work with that of Jorge Luis Borges Jorge and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. When asked about the debt to Borges, Carey replied: "It is there, it cannot not be there." Carey's first volume of short fiction, The Fat Man in History (1974), with its original and unrealistic use of Australian materials, gained immediate acclaim in Australia. One critic noted that Carey at last fills "a vacancy in the Sophisticated Fantasy Section of the Short Story Industry." A second book of stories, War Crimes (1979), was equally well received and won an important Australian literary award. His first novel, Bliss, appeared in 1982. At the time Carey was balancing his writing career with the operation of an advertising agency in Sydney, and his books were not generally known outside of Australia. When Illywhacker was published, in 1985, followed by British and American editions, he began to receive international attention. The novel, whose title employs an Australian slang word for con artist, retells Australian history and looks into the nation's future, stressing all the while the lies that constitute the national myth; the work was short-listed for the British Booker Prize. Carey's next novel, Oscar and Lucinda (1988), did receive that prestigious prize, and his reputation as an Australian writer with international stature was firmly established. In 1989 he moved to New York, where he still lives, teaching part time at New York University and writing. Even though The Tax Inspector (1992) was written in New York, it continues Carey's exploration of the Australian myth and its effect on the individual. Yet all of Carey's work transcends the Australian experience.

Bibliographic information