The Tax Inspector

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Granny Catchprice runs her family business and her family with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives. Out of the confrontation Granny Catchprice runs her family business and her family with senility, cunning, and a handbag full of explosives. 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.

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Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published January 4th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Tax Inspector , please sign up. Lists with This Book.

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Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Tax Inspector. May 24, Paltia rated it really liked it. A boisterous dark comic tale focused on the bizarre and often hilarious behavior of the Catchprice tribe. This is an anatomy of a truly dysfunctional family. Along comes the pregnant, soon to deliver, tax inspector, who also happens to want to cut loose from her past. Granny leads the pack with her determination to seek revenge. Each of them flies off into the realms of all kinds of possibilities.

Each family member has their own journey be they in search of love, a music career, becoming an angel, or maybe a Hare Krishna devotee. They all want a way to escape or destroy life in the present for a fresh start. They argue, disarm, threaten and dare one another to take that first giant step into change.

Each in their own way would rather risk danger or uncertainty than stagnate in the decaying car garage. Endlessly humorous Carey affords each character a voice to share what they see as a whole new perspective just around that next bend.

THE TAX INSPECTOR by Peter Carey | Kirkus Reviews

A free flying story built around some of the most unstable characters imaginable. They fear nothing but being stuck. The story starts slowly only to gain a fast paced momentum with a genius ending.

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View all 4 comments. Readers talk about Peter Carey's Hits and Misses.


The more contemporary he gets, in characters and themes, the less jaw-dropping he becomes. That was true, certainly, with the forgettable His Illegal Self and it's true here with The Tax Inspector , an earlier work. When one of the main characters is Johnny-turned-Vish, a Hare Krishna, the reader can be certain he is treading into the Readers talk about Peter Carey's Hits and Misses.

When one of the main characters is Johnny-turned-Vish, a Hare Krishna, the reader can be certain he is treading into the caricature form. Still, it's Carey, so the book is undeniably readable, plot-driven. And when you see a few pages of solid dialogue coming up, you can be sure to be in for a treat. As when one self-deprecating character admits, "I ain't no oil painting. View all 7 comments. Nov 07, Henry rated it liked it.

The first Peter Carey novel i have read and i really enjoyed it. He creates memorable, believable almost unforgettable characters with immense skill an so you end up forgiving him the over the top aspects as it all seems so believable. But at the end i did think, so what was the point in that and wasnt it a bit desperate in the use of sexual trauma for drama but he seemed to have a lot of fun writing it and i had a lot of fun reading it.

Jun 24, David rated it liked it Shelves: read-in Aspects that I thought didn't work all that well included: MINOR SPOILER ALERT though if you haven't figured out by page 20 that this story is going to end with a bang, you're not paying attention Things were just a little too gothic - the rampant dysfunction within the Catchprice family, ranging from the gelignite-toting grandma to the psychopathic year old, Benny, whose initial meltdown precipitates the havoc that unfolds as the story progresses , is just a little too over the top to carry much of an emotional charge Why does the deep dark family secret always have to be incest propagated across the generations? Practically the first thing we're told about Granny Catchprice is that she carries a stick of gelignite in her handbag at all times. Which means, by a simple application of Chekhov's law of the loaded gun, that we know how things will turn out. So where was the suspense? The whole Sarkis story arc seemed entirely tangential and added little to the overall development For that matter, the tax inspector character was dull, and the integration of her story such as it was with that of the crazy Catchprice clan was kind of clumsy These criticisms are actually pretty minor.

Because, as in his other books, Carey's gift for telling a good yarn, his ability to pull the reader into the eccentric milieu of his characters and make us care about those characters even the weird ones more than compensate for minor structural weaknesses. So that this was a very enjoyable read.

While I don't think it qualifies for a fourth star, it does make me want to keep reading his stuff.