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Publisher's Summary

At 18, Tom escapes ordinariness in small town Australia for Melbourne and a flat in a strange block named Cairo. There he meets the magnetic Max Cheever, and is drawn into his circle of bohemian artists and dreamers. But soon Tom is ensnared in a plot to steal a million dollar Picasso masterpiece, among undependable forgers and violent art dealers.

©2013 Chris Womersley (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An inspiring read. Womersley's prose is clear, evocative and powerful; an utter joy'" ( Irish Times)
"Real brilliance ... This is a distinguished novel" ( Independent)

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Entertaining story of Melbourne's Bohemia

I was fascinated to discover that 'Cairo' turned out to be a speculative account of the theft of Picasso's Weeping Woman from the National Gallery of Victoria in 1986, the year I returned to the city after a long period away. The incident is permanently fixed in my memory and I believe it could well have happened as Chris Womersley describes. At first I found the characters rather tiresome, but as they developed they became more interesting, and so did the story, as the Weeping Woman connection was revealed. After half an hour or so of listening, I became drawn in to this Fitzroy world with all its artists and pseuds.

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Fascinating story, narrated very well

I knew there’s a painting in NGV by Picasso, ‘Weeping Wonan’, but had no idea about its heist. Scince then I’ve read a lot of stuff on the net. It’s really a great crime (?), totally unbelievable.

This book cleverly intertwines fictional events with this painting, set in Melbourne 1986.
Obviously I can’t feel nostalgic while reading this, I wasn’t here, but, the author succeeds in recreating a vibrant, rough and tumble Fitzroy area very well.

The ending was a bit predictable, but, I thoroughly enjoyed this coming of age story telling. It’s a great homage to a bygone era in the 80s when everything was so relaxed that this ‘victimless crime’ actually happened, and artists and bohemians could afford to live in Fitzroy.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.