Illywhacker by Peter Carey

The novel is a sprawling tale of deception, magic, and family history, narrated by a 139-year-old Australian con artist. He recounts his life's adventures, from snake handling to aircraft manufacturing, while weaving in the stories of his descendants. The narrative is a blend of historical fiction and tall tales, exploring themes of national identity, truth, and the art of storytelling itself. Through the protagonist's unreliable narration, the book challenges the reader to discern fact from fiction, all while painting a vivid picture of Australian society and its transformation over the 20th century.

The 3231st greatest book of all time


Ranking Details:

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Total Points: 141

Since this book was first published in 1985, there is a penalty of 17.6%. The age adjusted score is 116.18.

This is to prevent newer books from reaching super high on the ranked list of the greatest books of all time. The greatest books should also stand the test of time.