With admirable enterprise, Bloomsbury books have asked a number of top writers to describe the city they love most; 30 Days in Sydney represents Peter Carey’s turn with a unique take on the Aussie metropolis.
Subtitled “a wildly distorted account” it is pretty much that: an oblique, poignant, entertaining and rather candid look at the city. Using his prize-winning novelist’s eye for telling detail, and the objectivity of the relative outsider (Carey has spent the last decade in New York, and he hails from Melbourne), the author shows that Sydney is not just about sun, sports, gay sex and Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s also about endangered wildlife, painful history, militant agnosticism and, above all, a wilful, dogged, brave, funny, cantankerous citizenry. As Carey trots around town we get to meet a few of these hard-bitten “diggers”; their individuality and orneriness are deftly sketched.
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