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Australia’s master novelist takes us on the race of a lifetime.

Irene Bobs loves fast driving. Her husband is the best car salesman in western Victoria. Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent over roads no car will ever quite survive.

With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed schoolteacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids, the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily-white Australia they know so well.

This thrilling, high-speed story starts in one way and then takes you someplace else. It is often funny, the more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves. Set in the 1950s amid the consequences of the age of empires, this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of a timeless culture – the high purpose they invented and the crimes they committed along the way.

Peter Carey has twice won the Booker Prize for his explorations of Australian history. A Long Way from Home is his late-style masterpiece.

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Extract

Bacchus Marsh,
33 miles from Melbourne

1

For a girl to defeat one father is a challenge, but there were two standing between me and what I wanted, which was – not to fiddle-faddle – a lovely little fellow named Titch Bobs.

The first father was my own. When he discovered that I, his teeny Irene, his little mouse, his petite sized mademoiselle, had, all by herself, proposed matrimony to a man of five foot three, he spat his Wheaties in his plate.

Titch’s father was number two. He came out of the gate at a gallop, one hundred percent in favour. I was a beauty, a bobby-dazzler until, in the hallway by the coat stand, he gave me cause to slap his face.

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Also by Peter Carey

Theft: A Love Story
The Tax Inspector
Illywhacker
Oscar and Lucinda
Collected Stories
The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith
Bliss
Jack Maggs
Amnesia
The Chemistry of Tears
Antarctica Cruising Guide
Parrot and Olivier in America
True History of the Kelly Gang
His Illegal Self
Theft
Wrong About Japan
My Life as a Fake

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Girl on the Train
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Swing Time
The Mistress
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
Uncommon Type
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Line of Fire
Ready Player One
Colombiano