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Amnesie (2014)

door Peter Carey

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3122464,464 (2.86)14
"From the two-time Booker Prize winner: a masterful, exceedingly timely new novel--at once dark, suspenseful, and seriously funny--that takes us on a journey to the place where the cyber underworld of radicals and hackers collides with international power politics. When an internet virus throws open the gates at thousands of American prisons, the hacker turns out to be an unlikely young Australian woman. Has she declared cyber war on the United States or was her "Angel Worm" intended only to free the victims of Australia's immigration policies? Is she innocent? Can she be saved? The answers are up to law-suit-magnet journalist Felix Moore, a.k.a. Felix Moore-or-less-correct. His career is tanking when he gets this chance to write a biography that will vindicate the young woman. Funding is to be provided by an old friend--an outrageous millionaire property developer--and further impetus by an old flame: the young woman's actress mother whom Felix worshiped when they were at university together. And it will be our great good fortune to see the world through Felix's comic, cowardly, angry, yet fundamentally humane eyes as he attempts to save the young woman--and redeem himself in the bargain"--… (meer)
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1-5 van 24 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
One of the most spectacularly mis-marketed novels of recent memory. Amnesia is supposedly about "the cyber underworld" and "international power politics." Yes. In much the same way that Pride and Prejudice is about the cyber underworld and international power politics.

Carey actually wrote a book that's metafictional in a tedious way (journalist is ordered to write a portrait of a cyber-terrorist type... said portrait is the second half of the novel... can we trust him oh no author is unreliable who would have thought it). He combines ultra-realistic characters with funny caricatures (always fatal for a certain kind of reader; the kind who once read E. M. Forster's bit about round and flat characters, and just assumes that all characters must be "round"). And then (here tolls the death-knell for my interest in the book), instead of taking those perfectly bearable ingredients and whipping up a good spy thriller, he (or perhaps that ever unreliable author) serves us... a teenage love story. I don't give any shits.

As I say, it's just possible that this is all meant to be metafictional, which makes it artistically and intellectually reputable: the journalist is separated from his wife, so of course he'll focus on the love story instead of the actually interesting parts of the story he's meant to be telling. And since Carey is just telling the story of the journalist, he has to tell that story, rather than the story that his readers want.

None of which makes actually reading the second half of the book anything other than tedious. Quite a shame. On the upside, it's very readable, and at least he's trying to do something interesting.

Oh, one small thing: Carey throws in a lot of Oz slang and geography and so on, and a lot of it felt pretty thin. Particularly thin was his reference to an Italian restaurant thirty kilometres East of Monash University. Carey went to Monash, briefly, but I went there for rather too long, and I assure you, if you are thirty kays east of Monash, you are in Port Phillip Bay, and nowhere near land, let alone any restaurants. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
I don't understand why people are down on this, I thought it was a cracker. First Carey I've wholeheartedly enjoyed for many years. I am only uneasy because it reads like a movie. When you can see the movie reeling along as you turn the page - it makes me wonder whenever I read a novel which seems like it's waiting to become a movie. If the author wrote the novel aiming for the screen is this okay? Are we reading a movie pitch or a novel?

If you want a book to read on a plane which is well-written, a nicely evoked picture of Australia starting at WWII and ending when children are computer hackers, stereotypical characters whom we all know - really well done, I thought - this is it. I won't read it again, but I'm glad I've read it once. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I don't understand why people are down on this, I thought it was a cracker. First Carey I've wholeheartedly enjoyed for many years. I am only uneasy because it reads like a movie. When you can see the movie reeling along as you turn the page - it makes me wonder whenever I read a novel which seems like it's waiting to become a movie. If the author wrote the novel aiming for the screen is this okay? Are we reading a movie pitch or a novel?

If you want a book to read on a plane which is well-written, a nicely evoked picture of Australia starting at WWII and ending when children are computer hackers, stereotypical characters whom we all know - really well done, I thought - this is it. I won't read it again, but I'm glad I've read it once. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I don't understand why people are down on this, I thought it was a cracker. First Carey I've wholeheartedly enjoyed for many years. I am only uneasy because it reads like a movie. When you can see the movie reeling along as you turn the page - it makes me wonder whenever I read a novel which seems like it's waiting to become a movie. If the author wrote the novel aiming for the screen is this okay? Are we reading a movie pitch or a novel?

If you want a book to read on a plane which is well-written, a nicely evoked picture of Australia starting at WWII and ending when children are computer hackers, stereotypical characters whom we all know - really well done, I thought - this is it. I won't read it again, but I'm glad I've read it once. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Felix is a polemic left-wing journalist who has just lost a trial for defamation and his career is in tatters. Woody is a multi-millionaire friend with suspect motives who commissions Felix to write the story of Gaby, a member of a hacker collective that has infiltrated the Australian and American prison systems. Gaby's mother is Celine, an actress who is a old friend of Felix. Starting with the arrival of American troops on Australian soil during the second world war, the book looks at the underbelly of the relationships between the two nations and also the power of cybercrime.

The first half of this book was really enjoyable, it skipped along paralleling the stories in the present day and backstory of Gaby. However about halfway through it started to get a little bogged down in detail and so did I. Some of Carey's work is lucid, most is complex and some impenetrable, this novel encompasses all three - the best and worst of Peter Carey. It is an ambitious premise but between the complex plot and the complicated writing I got lost. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
1-5 van 24 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
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It was a spring evening in Washington DC; a chilly autumn morning in Melbourne; it was exactly 22.00 Greenwich Mean Time when a worm entered the computerised control systems of countless Australian prisons and released the locks in many other places of incarceration, some of which the hacker would not have known existed.
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"From the two-time Booker Prize winner: a masterful, exceedingly timely new novel--at once dark, suspenseful, and seriously funny--that takes us on a journey to the place where the cyber underworld of radicals and hackers collides with international power politics. When an internet virus throws open the gates at thousands of American prisons, the hacker turns out to be an unlikely young Australian woman. Has she declared cyber war on the United States or was her "Angel Worm" intended only to free the victims of Australia's immigration policies? Is she innocent? Can she be saved? The answers are up to law-suit-magnet journalist Felix Moore, a.k.a. Felix Moore-or-less-correct. His career is tanking when he gets this chance to write a biography that will vindicate the young woman. Funding is to be provided by an old friend--an outrageous millionaire property developer--and further impetus by an old flame: the young woman's actress mother whom Felix worshiped when they were at university together. And it will be our great good fortune to see the world through Felix's comic, cowardly, angry, yet fundamentally humane eyes as he attempts to save the young woman--and redeem himself in the bargain"--

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