READ EBOOK ☨ Jack Maggs ♽

The story goes that Peter Carey read Charles Dickens s Great Expectations and felt that the convict character Magwitch, as an example of an early Australian, was treated badly Carey also thought that perhaps Dickens s had known a person like Magwitch and had unfairly exploited his misfortune An inspired Carey set out to write Jack Maggs Maggs is a Magwitch type character and there is also Tobias Oates, writer and practitioner of magnetism hypnotism , who is an analogue of Dickens.At first I found Jack Maggs to be compelling reading Carey uses short episodic chapters that keep the narrative ticking along However the novel did drag slightly through the middle sections Maggs is a complex character with a traumatic past and an idealistic notion of his relationship with his adopted son Phipps, whom he has returned to London to visit Maggs s story intertwines with Tobias Oates, with the latter manipulating Maggs to better his storytelling abilities.Initially enthralling, this premise failed to sustain my interest eventually Carey s descriptive powers are all class however The London of the 1800 s comes alive beautifully throughout the novel You can easily visualise the dirty streets and smell the gas from faulty streetlights in the air Carey has also done his research, with all kinds of strange little facts from the era cropping up in the narrative.Carey is an accomplished writer and Jack Maggs does offer the reader colourful characters, a vivid setting and a reasonably compelling narrative However the novel has something intangible missing, that something that makes you think about the novel and what it had to say for days or weeks afterwards For me, Jack Maggs simply faded away almost as soon as I finished reading it It had done its job competently, but didn t quite have that spark of a really special novel. A post colonial reworking of the story of Great Expectations, Jack Maggs is the tale of a transported convict who returns secretly to England to see Henry Phipps, the adopted son whose education he has financed Unlike Great Expectations however, the convict s story is the central narrative of the book, rather than that of the young gentleman he has secretly fostered Jack Maggs has known very little kindness in his life and this does not change when he finally meets up with Henry He returns to Australia after the meeting having witnessed the destruction of the dream he had nourished for so many years.Running parallel to the narrative of Jack Maggs is the story of the novelist, Tobias Oates, clearly based on Charles Dickens, who encounters Maggs by chance in the household of a friend Entangled in a relationship with his wife s sister, struggling to survive financially, and always looking for new material, Oates becomes fascinated with the convict s violent history, almost to his own undoing.I never find Peter Carey an easy read Nonetheless, this is a richly textured book, full of resonance The language is muscular, the voice compelling and the whole thing seems to be attended by a dark energy that brings the story and the characters to life with startling clarity READ EBOOK ♜ Jack Maggs ♶ The Year Is And Ex Convict Jack Maggs Has Returned Illegally To London From Australia Installing Himself In The Household Of A Genteel Grocer, He Attracts The Attention Of A Cross Section Of Society Saucy Mercy Larkin Wants Him For A Mate Writer Tobias Oates Wants To Possess His Soul Through Hypnosis Maggs, A Figure Both Frightening And Mysteriously Compelling, Is So In Thrall To The Notion Of A Gentlemanly Class That He S Risked His Life To Come Back To His Torturers His Task Is To Shed His False Consciousness And Understand That His True Destiny Lies In Australia Time and place were chosen specially to make this magnificent stylization to Charles Dickens particularly credible Now, each day in the Morning Chronicle, each fortnight in the Observer, it was Tobias Oates who made the City of London With a passion he barely understood himself, he named it, mapped it, widened its great streets, narrowed its dingy lanes, framed its scenes with the melancholy windows of his childhood In this way, he invented a respectable life for himself a wife, a babe, a household He had gained a name for comic tales He had got himself, along the way, a little belly, a friend who was a titled lady, a second friend who was a celebrated actor, a third friend who was a Knight of the Realm, a fourth friend who was an author and tutor to the young Princess Victoria He did not dare look down, so far had he come.Until this morning, when his fun and games had killed a man.Then the doctor had cast him out, and this criminal, this outcast, had felt himself free to pick him up and shake him as though he were nothing but a rabbit Everything is not what it seems and do gooders turn into villains and criminals become saints well, almost And in the end good wins as it always should Because of a love for Carey s True History of the Kelly Gang I picked up this book at a library used book sale, and it sat in a box for over a year.Late one night I found myself without any late night reading material A recently unpacked copy of Jack Maggs stared back at me from our book shelves.What a fabulous find The period, setting, and characters are often compared with Dickens, but they so exceed Dickens 2 dimensional approach.I stayed up much later than late to find out the mysterious background of Maggs Carey likes to peel the polite veneer off some memorably odious characters which usually makes for pleasurable reading does this enjoyment make me a bad person.Definitely my new favorite book by the consistently remarkable Peter Carey. Dedication For AlisonAuthor s Note The author willingly admits to having once or twice stretched history to suit his own historical ends.Front quote ia a lengthy extract from Du magn tisme animal 1820 by Armand Marie Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de Puys gur.Opening It was a Saturday night when the man with the red waistcoat arrived in London It was, to be precise, six of the clock on the fifteenth of April in the year of 1837 that those hooded eyes looked out the window of the Dover coach and beheld, in the bright aura of the gas light, a golden bull and an overgrown mouth opening to devour him the sign of his inn, the Golden Ox.tbr busting 2013winter 2012 2013victorianamysteryhardbackone penny wonderpaper readfictiondickensphernaliaabandonedGiven my strong likes, this should have been right up there with dongs hanging down to the knees Instead I found it belaboured and stilted There are enough Carey fans out there to make up for my disinterest.Next As my first TBR Busting 2013, one would hope this is not a trend for the year weak gromit smile Interesting to read a book about Victorians that is completely driven by dialogue, as opposed to the thick soup of expository language that is sometimes beautiful such as in Bleak House and sometimes awful such as in Bleak House And on that note, Carey doesn t write like Dickens at all with Carey, you don t the intense highs and lugubrious lows, but you do get to start a book you may actually finish. 3,5 An almost 4 stars rounded upThis is an intelligent reworking of Great Expectations from the point of view of the convict the eponymous Jack Maggs Carey has a habit of doing this in his novels The Unusual life of Tristan Smith relates to Sterne and Oscar and Lucinda is a reworking of Gosse s Father and Son Carey populates the novel with fantastical characters and fully immerses himself in Dickensian London with some vivid descriptive passages Jack Maggs returns from Australia in secret he has been transported for life just before he was transported an orphan boy Henry Phipps did him a good turn and Maggs has become his benefactor allowing him the life of a gentleman In this novel, unlike the original the Pip or Phipps character is thoroughly unlikeable Maggs takes a position as a footman to bide his time and is brought to the attention of a struggling writer Tobias Oates in actuality Dickens The plot takes many twists and turns and vividly drawn minor characters come and go with great frequency Carey is open than Dickens could be and we have homosexuality, sexual passion, the brutality of the prison system, child prostitution and the abortion trade There are powerful descriptions of Maggs as a child being taught how to steal and being sent down a chimney for the first time The Victorian passion for mesmerism and magnetism and there is some wonderful tomfoolery around this Oates the Dickens character doesn t come out of this very well He is a trickster journalist with an already complex private life who steals Maggs s story for his own purposes There is plenty of melodrama, violence, twists and turns, an unlikely and surprising heroine, lots of secrets some confessed, some not , grief and loss The poor and downtrodden and their lives feature heavily as they do in Dickens Carey is an Australian author and although this is an homage, it is also, I think a counterblast and a spot of revenge done with a good deal of verve and panache This is an enjoyable reworking that trundles along at a great pace an enjoyable and not too demanding read. I loved Carey s Oscar and Lucinda but found this a bit disappointing It s a variation of Charles Dickens Great Expectations and while Carey strips all sentimentality from the tale he doesn t succeed in plumbing the depths of human nature that Dickens did It often comes across as a rather flippant novel, a bit of fun As in Great Expectations we have the convict Maggs and his devotion to a young boy who shows him kindness when he is on his way to Australia He becomes rich in Australia and grants the boy a generous yearly stipend The trouble starts when Maggs returns to London, wanting to make himself known to the young man he considers his son For me, the best parts of this book were the flashbacks to Jack s life of crime as an orphan child when he is cajoled by a Fagan like character to break in to elegant houses by climbing down the chimneys The adult Maggs and his adventures interested me less He gains employment as a footman in a house run by a former fishseller who operates a kind of literary salon Here, Maggs meets a writer who shares many of Dickens traits and who dabbles in hypnotism His adopted son lives next door The exuberant implausibility of Oscar and Lucinda was one of its magnificent achievements the implausibility of parts of this novel, on the other hand, was irritating, sometimes veering towards pantomime The prose was disappointing too It was like Carey was writing this as a pastime Somehow I never felt his heart was in it.