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by Peter Carey
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  • Author:
    Peter Carey
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    Findaway; Unabridged edition (March 15, 2008)
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Acclaim for Peter Carey’s.

Acclaim for Peter Carey’s. Peter Carey’s funny, rumbustious new novel takes on the contemporary art worl. .Written with terrific verbal energy and a snide, lashing sense of humor, Theft is a marvelous caper, a wicked little love story and a fine mockery of an industry that probably deserves.

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Читать онлайн Theft: A Love Story. Am I to be a king, or just a pig?

To these he had added one more of his own, which was that he would, in all circumstances, do exactly what he wished. Macado Fernandez, One Man 1 I don't know if my story is grand enou. Читать онлайн Theft: A Love Story. Am I to be a king, or just a pig? -Gustave Flaubert, Intimate Notebook.

Theft: A Love Story has been added to your Cart. Carey mingles technical details and slick cityscapes with loving precision, and although no character in the book could be called likeable per se, they all certainly seem real enough. It's this unswerving reality that makes it hardest to like the novel, which ends with a poignance that is deserved but somehow dull.

Patrick Ness on Peter Carey's Theft, a great novel that gets right up his nose. Carey is an artist who churns and curses and worries and frets. His novels roil, threatening at any moment to erupt impolitely all over the carpet. He is formally ostentatious, often inventing fabulist characters with equally fabulist voices and generally remaining allergic to adjective-free naturalism. Perhaps this is why, despite being one of the world's leading novelists, he is more respected than loved.

From the two-time Booker Prize-winning author and recipient of the Commonwealth Prize comes this new novel about obsession, deception, and redemption, at once an engrossing psychological suspense story and a work of highly charged, fiendishly funny literary fiction.

Publication date: 2006. I don’t know if my story is grand enough to be a tragedy, although a lot of shitty stuff did happen

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Theft: A Love Story is a novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. It won the 2006 Vance Palmer Prize, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award prize for fiction. Theft is the story of Michael "Butcher" Boone, an Australian artist whose career is having an early and comprehensive twilight. The novel alternates between the viewpoint of Butcher himself, and that of his "damaged two hundred and twenty pound brother" Hugh.

Michael "Butcher" Boone is an ex- really famous" painter, now reduced to living in a remote country house and acting as caretaker for his younger brother, Hugh. Alone together they've forged a delicate equilibrium, a balance instantly destroyed when a mysterious young woman named Marlene walks out of a rainstorm and into their lives.

Peter Carey is a writer I respect a lot. I think he has class and a real talent to put together great stories. Because he is so high in the ranks for me, I may be harsher with this review than with others - because "Theft" is a very good novel, showing true mastery of words, but it is not flawless.

The storyline itself is very simple; banal even, but although predictable, it is engrossing, in a sense: what kept me interested was not the anticipation of an unexpected turn of events, but rather curiosity, how the author would detangle the plot towards the end. The whole point of the plot is revealed in the title, and the details at the very beginning, so there is no waiting for the climax. Therefore, no sleepless nights for this one... The prose is very dense and not easy, characteristic for Carey, but I recommend patience because, all in all, this novel is worth reading.

An intriguing woman, Marlene Leibovitz, appears once at the doorstep of the mansion, where an impoverished, forgotten painter, Michael Boone, is allowed to live with his not the smartest brother Hugh (who not without reason earned himself the nickname "Slow Bones") in exchange for being a caretaker. Both brothers fall in love with Marlene as she involves them in her giant theft scheme. Marlene needs Michael, because the object of the grand theft is a painting by her late father-in-law, an enormously famous painter... The action moves in a brisk pace from Australia through Japan to New York City (the latter being the only place, where Hugh does not get lost because of the grid and he loves it).

Reading "Theft" I could not avoid comparisons with "Oscar and Lucinda", the first of Carey's novels I read, which is amazing, in my opinion. The two fundamental differences are: the style of narration - here two alternating, first-person narrators (both brothers) present their stories from the inside of the plot; in "Oscar and Lucinda" there is an omniscient, third person narrator; and the anticlimactic plot - both the love story and the theft story have easy to imagine outcomes; "Oscar and Lucinda" was phenomenally surprising (and the ending was worth the wait). There are also similarities: very original main characters (although Oscar and Lucinda are the unbeatable pair, Michael and Hugh are very good too, painfully real and at the same time as far from typical as only possible, living their own lives with strong personal philosophies), and the obsessive passion for - there it was gambling, here art. I feel that Carey likes the obsession motif, always very promising, and he gives it an interesting angle. The multi-level schemes, which also appear in both novels, cheating and cheating the cheaters, are fun too.

I found the ending (despite not expecting much of it) a bit of a disappointment, I felt that the idea somehow got diluted. I hated Marlene, her character was extremely irritating and obnoxious (maybe this was intended; or maybe male readers would find her as charming as Michael Boone did). I loved the narration, I like when the novel is shown from different points of view complement each other.

"Theft" gets four stars from me, because I know that Carey can do better and I expect him to. But it is a good, original novel.
Two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey has a command of the language that is beautiful in its simplicity. Just as three primary colors can make up the universe's sumptuous palette, so too does Carey's uncluttered prose create a world so detailed and rich that you might re-read some passages just to wonder how the man did it. The words are there, naked and innocent, but Carey's talent is locked somewhere behind them.

In "Theft," Carey tells the story of two brothers. Michael Boone is an artist who has just been released from jail, where he was held for trying to steal his own art from his ex-wife. Hugh Boone is mentally-disabled, a looming child of a man who enjoys a good chair, a good chicken sandwich, and a children's book called "The Magic Pudding." Michael, fresh from his incarceration, has discovered that he is no longer "in," his fame has fled, and he is now reduced to playing caretaker for his not-so-simple sibling.

"Theft" claims to be a love story, and it is on several levels, but it's hard to say which level actually works. Certainly Michael is a man in love with himself as much as with his art (and at a loss to distinguish between the two). And there's a good chance he loves his brother, although there's not much evidence of that, other than his dogged (often resentful) dedication to the lumbering man-boy. Perhaps he loves Marlene.

Marlene is an authenticator of paintings, specifically those by the late Jacques Liebovitz, one of Michael's profoundest influences. She strides into Michael's life, wet, harried and wearing three-inch Manolo Blahnik heels, and she trails with her not just rainwater and mud, but also a mystery involving a missing painting, a murder, and the possibly fradulent work of Jacques Liebovitz. She's a beautiful woman, a complex and fragile work of art herself, so it's no wonder why Michael falls moronically in love with her.

Less clear is why she would fall for Michael. Maybe that's the point. In spite of the book's lucidity (and its even, measured tone) much remains muddied, like a priceless canvas that is in want of careful cleaning. The story is told from both brother's perspectives, although the narrative leaps don't happen with any kind of discernable regularity. Hugh's voice makes it easy to see why he is at odds with a world that pretends to be sane. Still, in spite of the gaps and flaws in the poor man's mind, he's eloquent enough to seem at least as coherent as Michael, if not quite as grounded. These are mostly worthless descriptions, anyway. Carey seems to be suggesting that artists, at heart, aren't that different from self-absorbed mental defectives.

That sounds harsher than the novel is. Carey mingles technical details and slick cityscapes with loving precision, and although no character in the book could be called likeable per se, they all certainly seem real enough. It's this unswerving reality that makes it hardest to like the novel, which ends with a poignance that is deserved but somehow dull. Carey's artwork is beautiful, but it feels unfinished, unframed, and lacking the last, finishing touches. His technique is flawless, but the overall effect lacks clarity. Come for all the fantastic colors, but try not to stare too long at the big picture. It's not nearly as wonderful as the brushstrokes it's made of.