DATE PUBLISHED: 2003 DATE READ: February 2009 NOTES: Peter Carey uses a somewhat tortuous form of narration. The narrator is a young woman, Sarah, who is telling what Christopher Chubb told her. At times she is telling in great detail what a third person told him. It was all a bit confusing in parts. Carey makes some interesting observations on fakery – many of us are fakes from time to time. Chubb ‘invents’ Bob McCorkle and Weiss (who pretends to be a more knowing publisher than he really is) is taken in. Noussette, a painter, pretends to be a photographer in order to take on another career. John Slater fakes a passport for the ‘madman’ claiming to be McCorkle. Slater (with Sarah’s connivance) fakes a letter to Chubb purporting to be from the Hotel Manager. The whole plot was a bit garbled and I didn’t find this book very enjoyable. The narrator never came to life for me and none of the characters held any attraction. Life in Malaya was well described but the book was disappointing overall.