A Long Way From Home

Carey-Swoosh-thumbOne of Australia’s greatest authors, two-time Booker Prize winner Carey (Oscar and Lucinda; True History of the Kelly Gang) has drawn inspiration from his native country throughout his career, weaving historical and fantastical tales ranging from the 1942 Battle of Brisbane to transporting a glass church from Sydney to Bellingen. Here, he uses the famous Redex Trial, a cross-country car race, to probe the unfurling legacy of colonialism in 1950s Australia. Desperate to acquire his own dealership, Titch Bobs sees both fame and financial windfall in winning the Redex Trial. With wife Irene as his copilot and neighbor Willie as navigator, he sets off across Australia’s unfinished roads and rural landscape. While Titch remains intensely focused on winning the race, Irene and Willie uncover painful personal histories along the way that intertwine with Australia’s forgotten people and communities. VERDICT Carey employs both a multivoice narrative and a continent-spanning car race to emulate the disparate voices and fits and starts that comprise Australia’s history.