The Tax Inspector

The Tax Inspector

by Peter Carey
     
 

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Granny Catchprice runs her family business (and her family) with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives. Her daughter Cathy would rather be singing Country & Western than selling cars, while Benny Catchprice, sixteen and seriously psychopathic, wants to transform a failing auto franchise into an empire—and himself into an angel. Out of the

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Overview

Granny Catchprice runs her family business (and her family) with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives. Her daughter Cathy would rather be singing Country & Western than selling cars, while Benny Catchprice, sixteen and seriously psychopathic, wants to transform a failing auto franchise into an empire—and himself into an angel. Out of the confrontation between the Catchprices and their unwitting nemesis, a beautiful and very pregnant agent of the Australian Taxation Office, Peter Carey, author of Oscar and Lucinda, creates an endlessly surprising and fearfully convincing novel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating and refreshing...brilliant." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Glorious entertainment, storytelling at its best, a piece of richly comic invention...mesmerizing." —Boston Globe

"[Carey's] work has a wild, chance-taking quality that seems to put him in harmony with the spirit of this age. If he keeps on as he has, he will prove to be one of its finest novelists." —Chicago Tribune

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carey tale about a family of bizarre misfits who run a scruffy auto dealership in a suburb of Sydney. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The Catchprices of suburban Sydney, Australia are a family in disarray. Their lives are centered around an auto dealership on the verge of collapse despite their fiddling with the books. No one but 16-year-old Benny really cares, and Benny is a psychotic living in a dingy cellar to avoid his father, a one-time child molester. Benny is determined to transform himself, via an expensive set of motivational tapes, a fancy new suit, and use of a depilatory, into the world's greatest car salesman and thus to save the business. His vision, however, is threatened by the arrival of tax inspector Maria Takis, so he sets out in his own warped way to induce her to drop the investigation. This is more than just Benny's story, however. It concerns an entire family coming apart at the seams, plagued by its own history and the frustration of unfulfilled dreams. Carey's greatest strength lies in his characterizations, in his ability to expose the complexity of human experience and see the victim within the victimizer. Disturbing yet alluring, this is highly recommended for collections of serious fiction.-- David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edmund White
"Peter Carey has an approach to the novel destined to make him one of the most widely read and admired writers working in English." -- Times Literary Supplement (London)
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
"Charmingly cany...touchingly human. One can't help being impressed by Mr. Carey's unusual blend of violent humor, which never quite turns black but certainly passes through every shade of grey, shot through with brilliant splashes of psychedelic pink and chartreuse." -- New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679735984
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1993
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,444,112
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.69(d)

What People are saying about this

Thomas Keneally
"Peter Carey is to Sydney what Joyce was to Dublin...An absolute master of language and of storytelling. Bet your money on him as one of the great figures on the cusp of the millennium."

Meet the Author

Peter Carey was born in Australia and now lives in New York.  His internationally acclaimed novel, Oscar and Lucinda, won the Booker Prize in 1988.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
May 7, 1943
Place of Birth:
Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia
Education:
Monash University (no degree)
Website:
http://www.petercareybooks.com

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