Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Should Listen to Other People More Often

#42 -- "My Life as a Fake" by Peter Carey

I read part of Carey's "Jack Maggs," geez, almost a decade ago -- wasn't too thrilled, didn't finish it, remember nothing. About two years ago, a friend recommended this one -- I picked up a used copy, since she has a history of great recommendations, then promptly forgot about it.

Until this week, when I picked it up and blew through it, perhaps quicker than anything else I've read this year.

The tale, briefly: a literary magazine editor makes a trip to Malaysia in an effort to learn the truth about a family tragedy, and gets drawn into a decades-old scandal. In the midst of this very down-to-earth novel, a supernatural element is introduced, very skillfully and naturally.

It's not a happy novel, but an extremely good one. It's rare something so intricate goes so quickly; it reminds me a bit of "Never Let Me Go," just because I was left with a similar reaction.

And there's another connection: the same person recommended both books. I don't think there's anyone I know who has such a high success rate, so if you're reading this, Katy -- kudos.

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