Carpentaria, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (1 rating)


Set in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance, Carpentaria is the unforgettable portrait of the powerful Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight's renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other.By turns operatic and surreal, Wright's stunning and richly imagined storytelling is a blend of myth and scripture, farce and politics.

Her extraordinary characters - Elias Smith the outcast saviour, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, the murderous mayor Stan Bruiser, the moth-ridden Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist and prodigal son Will Phantom, and above all, the rulers of the family, the queen of the rubbish-dump and the fish-embalming king of time, Angel Day and Normal Phantom - stride like giants in this storm-swept world.


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I really struggled with this book and was so relieved when I finished it.It's about an Aboriginal community who live in Desperance, north-east Australia, and the Phantom family in particular. That's about as much as I can say about the plot.My trouble with this book was the plot, actually - there wasn't one. Any action is kept until the last fifth of the book, by which point I'm sure a lot of people would have already given up. If I'm honest, the book just bored me.That's not to say that it isn't well-written because it is, but it wasn't for me. There's only so much rambling narrative and lack of dialogue that I can take.

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