Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
This guide is intended to enrich your experience reading Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs . This thrilling and original story, part historical novel and part literary fantasy, is one of the most exciting, erudite, and compulsively readable works of fiction to come along in recent years. London, 1837. Jack Maggs, a foundling trained as a thief, betrayed and deported to a penal colony in Australia, has reversed his fortunes. Under threat of execution he returns to London after twenty years of exile to try to fulfill his well-concealed heart’s desire. Masquerading as a footman, Maggs places himself in the rather eccentric household of Percy Buckle, Esquire. But when the unlikely footman comes under the scrutiny of the brilliant and unscrupulous young novelist Tobias Oates, an enthusiastic dabbler in mesmerism, Maggs’s secrets are revealed and he is forced to take desperate, sometimes violent action. A powerful and unusual homage to Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations , Jack Maggs displays all of Peter Carey’s broad historical and artistic knowledge, his masterful command of character, and his powerful moral vision. It is an unforgettable novel which will continue to stir the reader’s imagination and emotions long after it has been read.