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Bliss (1981)

de Peter Carey

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9591021,499 (3.66)48
This novel, by the author of Oscar and Lucinda, tells the story of a man who, recovering from death, is convinced that he is in hell. For the first time in his life, Harry Joy sees the world as it really is, and takes up a notebook to explore and notate the true nature of the Underworld.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 10 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Quirky. It seemed to wrap up very quickly. Didn't really like they style. ( )
  SteveMcI | Dec 14, 2023 |
This isn't my favorite of Peter Carey, and I'd hesitate to recommend it to people who haven't read him; it's definitely a first novel, stuffed with digressions and minor characters that don't quite work, and also the satirical tone has an aspect of contempt and despair that could be off-putting even if you like that kind of thing (sort of an early Martin Amis quality). But it's often beautiful and surprising, and it covers a lot of territory— Carey seems equally interested in the emotional and practical concerns of his characters whether they're in an ad agency or a backwoods hippie survivalist commune. And I like stories about people who go through a life-changing experience and reinvent themselves, but then aren't finished changing for all time, and hesitate and renege and have to reinvent themselves some more. ( )
  elibishop173 | Oct 11, 2021 |
Huh. Though I honestly didn't go into this with clear expectations, character or plot-wise, apart from the fact that it sounded interesting and odd, I'll admit that this went places I wouldn't have expected. Not bad places--well, at least not for the reader. ( )
  -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Peter Carey is one of the greatest living novelists, widely tipped to become both Australia’s next Nobel prize winner for literature and the first man to win three Booker prizes. In 2010 I read his second Booker-prize winner, True History of the Kelly Gang, and found it to be a good book that only grew stronger in my memory. So it seems like a good idea to read his entire canon.

Bliss is his first novel, following the unfortunate circumstances of Harry Joy, who has a heart attack one day and dies for nine minutes before being resuscitated. He comes back to find that his wife is cheating on him, his son is selling drugs and his advertising company has for years been promoting carcinogens. He believes himself to literally be in hell.

There’s a strange, semi-dreamlike feeling hanging over much of Bliss, as though you’re reading it through a clouded pane of glass. This is a stylistic choice; apparently many of Carey’s early works have an essence of magical realism to them. Certainly, Carey seems to draw inspiration from Borges and Marquez; South America is often mentioned, and the novel takes place in an unspecified tropical land which is probably Queensland, the prose thick with frangipani and jacarandas and banana trees.

I guess it’s a decent book. It’s the kind of novel that’s difficult to review, because I personally found it boring yet I know it’s objectively good. I still want to read more of Carey, and I own his next book, Illywhacker, but I may skip past that and read his Booker-winning Oscar and Lucinda or the intriguing Jack Maggs. ( )
  edgeworth | Jan 9, 2012 |
I just could not get in to this - maybe I missed a trick and should try again another day ( )
  TpJay | Apr 24, 2011 |
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Harry Joy was to die three times, but it was his first death which was to have the greatest effect on him, and it is this first death which we shall now witness.
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This novel, by the author of Oscar and Lucinda, tells the story of a man who, recovering from death, is convinced that he is in hell. For the first time in his life, Harry Joy sees the world as it really is, and takes up a notebook to explore and notate the true nature of the Underworld.

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