Jack Maggs: A Novel [Peter Carey] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda returns to the. 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 . In Jack Maggs, Peter Carey has written a twentieth-century, post-colonial Dickens novel, in an imaginative and audacious act of appropriation.

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It’s about taking possession of an inheritance, of another person’s soul, of your own destiny and being taken possession of.

Trouble is, I read this book when I was The ending isn’t completely satisfactory – it all seems to zip up in a chapter or two – but I suppose there is a little element of that in the original.

Maggs is a Magwitch type character and there is also Tobias Oates, writer and practitioner of magnetism hypnotismjacl is an analogue of Dickens. If I could have read it without thinking about how it was different from or similar to the Dickens plot, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

It reminded me of ‘Fingersmith’ by Sarah Waters which is also set in Victorian Magge, both stories are populated by realistically human characters, with complex personalities, characters that are both loathsome and lovable. Installing himself in the household of a genteel grocer, he attracts the attention of a cross-section of society.

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Jack Maggs

An engrossing old-fashioned story about a stranger with a mysterious past arriving in London in the s. Maggs has become the boy’s benefactor but jaack boy, Henry Phipps Piphas not reciprocated Maggs’ generosity. I was thoroughly caught up in the story and in the weirdness of Carey’s Dickensian characters.

He did not dare look down, so far had he come. Somehow I never felt his heart was in it. Just as English playwright Tom Stoppard plucked Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from the periphery of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” so Carey has created a stunning story about the convict who surreptitiously adopts Pip in Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations. The prose mags disappointing too. It’s a highly interesting combination of powerful style and weak characters.


I just can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this novel. For what crimes, real or imagined, do Oates and Maggs feel the most guilt and shame?

The story centres around Jack Maggs the equivalent of Magwitch and his quest to meet his ‘son’ Henry Phipps the equivalent of Pipwho has mysteriously disappeared, having closed up his house and dismissed his household.

Jack Maggs Reader’s Guide

The author willingly admits to having once or twice stretched history to suit his own historical ends. Maggs, a figure both frightening and mysteriously compelling, is The year is and ex-convict Jack Maggw has returned illegally to London from Australia. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Pip, terrified, steals a pork pie, brandy and a file from his house and peterr them to Magwitch the next morning.

But Carey isn’t interested in calling attention to his own artistic sophistication. However, I became engaged and found it amusing and then poignant. Tobias Oates is the latest in Carey’s great line of self-inventive opportunists, creative gamblers.

This is an enjoyable reworking that trundles along at a great pace; an enjoyable and not too demanding read. Maggs becomes involved as a servant in the household of Phipps’s neighbour, Percy Buckle, as he attempts to wait out Phipps or find him in the streets of London. Maggs pretends to be a servant and is soon invited to work for Phipps’ neighbor, Percy Buckle.

Jack Maggs by Peter Carey – Reading Guide – : Books

Pip’s re-birthing as the cold-hearted, homosexual cad Mr Phipps is grist to the post-colonial mill. Strong characters and vivid descriptions of Victorian London made this a quick and very enjoyable read. Things that were suppressed or unspoken in Dickens homosexuality, illicit sexual passion, flogging of prisoners, the rape of child-prostitutes, the abortion trade are unsentimentally exposed in this rewriting, as are Dickens’s colonial assumptions.

If you’re a fan of Dickens it’s good to just dive in without too much prior information, just to see how many references you can pick up.

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Installing himself in the household of a genteel grocer, he attracts maygs attention maggx a cross-section of society. There are a few levels to this book. Return to Book Page. What I do know is that I loved this book. Views Read Edit View history. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Lists with This Book. The fact that Oates misreads phenomena, or creates his own phenomena and then reads them as pre-existing undercuts the reliability of any kind of knowledge because we see exposed the faulty undercurrents of any knowledge based on narrative and as Lyotard would argue, all knowledges are based on narrative.

Jun 14, Paul rated it really liked carry Shelves: 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. He returns to 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.

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. Carey has a habit of doing this in his novels. Two of the themes Jack Maggs returns to again and again are those of guilt and shame.

Like all the best parody, this is written out of a mixture of love and antagonism. Jack Maggs lives an adventure, with twisting, turning motives and secrets. A servant in the writer’s house explains her master’s obsession magga others’ lives.

Personally though I had hoped to get more from this than I did.