Oscar and Lucinda

Reading Oscar and Lucinda* by Peter Carey is like eating a box of chocolates. Perhaps it would be possible to consume the entire book in one marathon, but it might wreck havoc in your literary digestion.

Better to enjoy the story over a few languid weeks so you can savor the richness of mid-19th century England and Australia, two unforgettable characters, and a gambling wager over a glass church.

One bite:
“She was a grown woman with a damaged friend and she forced herself to show concern for him, teasing his story from him like a bandage from a congealed wound.
And yet there was a part of her, a substantial part too, that did not give a damn about Dennis Hasset’s story. This part was angry. It thought Dennis Hasset a weak fool and a poor friend. It judged him for not valuing her sufficiently, for slumping over in his seat, for not lighting a fire. It coexisted with this other part that loved him. And these two factions fought within her all the while she listened to his story.”

*Booker Prize winner 1988