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Publisher's Summary

A moving and beautiful love story and a historical tour de force set in Victorian times. 

Oscar Hopkins, the hydrophobic, noisy-kneed son of a preacher, renounces his father's stern religion in favour of the Anglican Church. Lucinda Leplastrier, a frizzy-haired heiress, impulsively buys a glass factory with the inheritance forced on her by a well-intentioned adviser. 

When the two finally meet, on board a ship to New South Wales, Australia, they are bound by their affinity for gambling and risk, their loneliness and their awkwardly blossoming mutual affection. Love will prove to be their ultimate gamble. 

©1988 Peter Carey (P)2015 Recorded Books

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 02-04-2018

Listenable modern classic that didn't spark for me

Would you try another book written by Peter Carey or narrated by Steven Crossley?

Definitely. Very personable and a pleasure to listen to.

Would you be willing to try another book from Peter Carey? Why or why not?

Depends on the subject matter. Maybe.

What about Steven Crossley’s performance did you like?

For a long book, you really do have to take to a narrator quickly and be prepared to go on a long journey with him/her, with only their voice to create the story in your mind. Crossley was excellent at this, very smooth and professional. My negative comments on the book are nothing to do with how it was narrated.

Was Oscar and Lucinda worth the listening time?

Debatable. It was a long one, and one I can't say I 'enjoyed' in its entirety, but I am glad to be familiar with a new author.

Any additional comments?

I do try to sample Booker winners when they interest me, and the subject matter and time period sounded approachable. I was offered an Audible copy, so accessed this as an audiobook, a 20-hour listen.

From the beginning I found the narration very friendly, enthusiastic and easy to listen to, and there was humour in the early lives of preacher's son Oscar and future-heiress Lucinda, who both through their adolescent journeys, become gamblers.

It took nearly half the book for them to meet, and at that point my interest actually started waning a little. I was expecting the slightly lighter tone of the first half to continue.

The religion that early on had amused me and piqued my interest started to annoy me later on, and I was having trouble keeping up with the secondary characters' names and roles (a feat in itself in a long audiobook).

I don't think I connected with adult Oscar or Lucinda particularly. Though I'm glad to say I'm now familiar with the story and author, it's not one I'm going to recall, recommend or reread. I have come across many sagas I've been enraptured by, but this one just meandered to a finish without me feeling desperate to know the conclusion.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy, for an honest review.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful