His Illegal Self

His Illegal Self

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
5
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Two-time Booker Prize-winner Peter Carey's His Illegal Self crackles with passionate, electrifying prose and characters that leap off the page and into your psyche. Utterly captivating. It is 1972 and Che, a precocious seven-almost-eight-year-old boy, leads a rather bourgeois life on Park Avenue with his eccentric grandmother. His parents are young radicals in hiding from the FBI-he has never even met his father and he last saw his mother at the age of two. Che is ecstatic when a woman called Dial-who he believes is his mother-appears at his front door to take him out for lunch. They skip the meal and Dial whisks Che off on a serpentine adventure, luring him with the promise of a big surprise and the idea that he has finally found someone to love. Eventually they find themselves stranded on a turbulent hippie commune in Australia, a lonely boy and a reluctant kidnapper with no one to rely on but each other. His Illegal Self is a love story like no other. Simultaneously sinister and endearing, the incomparable perspectives and vividness of the characters' voices are mesmerizing. It is impossible not to be moved by the openness and innocence of this young boy, and by his willingness and inherent need to love and to trust anyone and everyone as he seeks out his parents.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House Canada, c2008
ISBN: 9780307356567
Branch Call Number: F CAR
Characteristics: 271 p. ; 24 cm

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Having lived through the 60's I still found this book difficult to read and pointless, as discussed below. The aesthetics might like this style of writing but the public reader does not. Why do they give books like this a prize to lure us into reading drivel.

s
Spillie
Jun 28, 2010

Hard to see the point to this novel, perhaps I'm just far enough outside the target demographic. Found the writing style difficult to follow and had to really push myself to finish the book (an extreme rarity for me).

c
Chookie
Jul 31, 2008

Could not bother to finish this book. Found it difficult to follow; the time frame kept shifing and I often had to reread bits in order to figure out which character was speaking. Found the whole story rather pointless, in fact (despite being old enough to have lived through the sixties!)

p
patrol_barry
Jul 29, 2008

Reading this book requires at least a basic knowledge of the history and politics of the 1960's in the United States. WIthout it, the content in this otherwise well-written book is meaningless and won't be understood.

j
jbeckber
Jul 29, 2008

Either I missed the point of this story or I am too young to understand the 60s. I found this book very difficult to understand, to read at all in fact! The way it was written, the ambiguous passages, the shifts in time and main character. Pushed through, but not sure I gained anything from it.

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