by Peter Carey.
Quickie recap: Born in the small but proud nation of Efica to a beautiful actress and her young, handsome lover, Tristan Smith's birth announcement should have shouted A Star Is Born. But Tristan isn't quite what everyone expected. He still manages to live of a life of espionage, adventure, and surprising stardom while observing a world that isn't quite what it should be.
Quickie review: Dare I call this a comedic political satire? Or just an epic work of impressive imagination? Or just another stunning piece of art by Peter Carey? Take your pick, you can't lose. It's a bit brutal. Tristan is a bit unforgiving. By the end, even the reader becomes a tiny bit more cynical for having spent time in this world not wholly unlike our own, next to Tristan who brings out the best and the worst of people. I've quite liked Carey in the past, but I let this book sit on my dresser for a while, because I had high expectations and don't like them to be dashed. They weren't. I laughed, I cried, I held my breath. I wanted to hold Tristan's hand. I wanted to shake Carey's. Splendidly done.
Quickie recommendation: Long live Peter Carey.