In Amnesia Peter Carey, 'the greatest Australian writer' (Richard Flanagan), asks the most vital question of the past seventy years: Has America taken us over? When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia's prison system, hundreds of asylum seekers walk free. Worse: an American corporation runs prison security, so the malware infects some 5000 American places of incarceration. Doors spring open. Both countries' secrets threaten to pour out. Was this American intrusion a mistake, or had Gaby declared cyberwar on the US? Felix Moore - known to himself as 'Australia's last serving left-wing journalist' - has no doubt. Her act was part of the covert conflict between Australia and America. That conflict dates back to the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane in 1942, forwards to the secret CIA station near Alice Springs, and has as its most outrageous act the coup of 1975. Funded by his property-developer mate Woody Townes, Felix is going to write Gaby's biography, to save her, and himself, and maybe his country. But how to get Gaby to co-operate? What role does her film-star mother have to play? And what, after all, does Woody really want? Amnesia is Carey at his best: dark, funny, exhilarating. It is a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present. 'Amnesia is a raucous meditation on dissent . . . An ambitious novel that possesses some of the energy and thrilling abandon of Carey's early works, including his short stories. It stands firm in ways reminiscent of Illywhacker . . . Carey is a writer who seems to want to celebrate, as much as to castigate, human flaws. He is sardonic and withering, but somehow optimistic. In Amnesia, the world is insidious and magnificent . . . Amnesia is both familiar and a distinctly new moment in his career.' Patrick Allington, Australian Book Review 'The story of WikiLeaks as if transmogrified by Dickens and turned into a thrilling fable for our post-Edward Snowden era.' Luke Harding, The Guardian 'The novel is a wild ride . . . Carey is Australia's lyrebird master of dialogue, perfectly tuned to every nuance, or upward intonation, of successive generations of Australian speech . . . Effortlessly lyrical.' Morag Fraser, The Age 'The novel sizzles with indignation. But this isn't its only mood. Often rumbustiously funny, it has an almost Dickensian zest for colourful characters. Scenes of the cyber-underworld and its bizarre obsessives buzz with fascination . . . Metaphorical vitality pulses through Carey's prose.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times (UK) 'Carey . . . has an uncanny knack of timeliness. [Amnesia is] a political novel in the way of E.L. Doctorow . . . a rambunctious cavalcade . . . Carey is Australia's lyrebird master of dialogue . . . a remarkable novelist.' The Saturday Age 'Will leave the mind reeling. It is tremendous fun, a satiric burlesque as fast as a speeding car, barbed as only Carey can be, seething with benign rage and as black as reality . . . His inventive unpredictability is part of his appeal. The narrative energy of Amnesia is impressive, as are his brilliant handling of the many voices and his always fluent prose . . . Amnesia contains some of the sharpest characterisation Carey has written . . . Amnesia is blunt and funny, brave and outspoken . . . Carey says a great deal in an entertaining, provocative novel, weighty with polemical intent, yet he never forgets to tell a story that is as large as life and as exuberantly complicated . . . If fiction can summon the now, this novel has.' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times 'Amnesia is hilarious. You know Carey's on about some dreadful stuff but you can't help laughing.' William Yeoman, West Australian 'Few living writers put down one sentence after another as skilfully as [Carey] does and Amnesia, which takes the Dismissal as its backdrop, is no exception.' Stephen Romei, Weekend Australian 'Possesses . . . the energy and thrilling abandon of Carey's early works ....
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Amnesia is a great return to form for the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize. A sullen young Australian woman—the daughter of a famous actress—is accused of an act of cyberterrorism against the United States. After hitting rock bottom, a disgraced and disheveled journalist who’s declared war on Australia’s political and media behemoth is commissioned to write her biography. Peter Carey’s inventive storyline lets him tackle timely issues, unleash his fiery humour and mold nuanced, entertaining characters that immediately grab your attention.
From two-time Booker winner Carey comes this complex new novel, focusing on the author's native Australia, but exploring themes of journalistic freedom and Internet ethics. At the center of the book is the young Australian Gabrielle Baillieux, who releases a virus called the Angel Worm in the computer system that controls the Australian prison system, releasing thousands of prisoners throughout Australia and, inadvertently, in the U.S. The move could be construed as an act of terrorism, a bold stroke in the fight for human rights, or just a geeky plan gone awry. Journalist Felix Moore is hired to write Gabrielle's story sympathetically, to avoid her extradition. In the process, he spends time with her mother, the actress Celine Baillieux, whom he had previously known in college. Looking back through the two women's lives, Felix also explores Australia's history since WWII, confusing himself but also educating readers about the Land Down Under. Throughout the book, Carey's cartwheeling prose and dazzling intellect can be challenging to keep up with, but the book is worth the effort.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Totally readable and relevant fiction. This novel is wonderfully Australian and carries its pertinent messages so wryly.