Read SMH review: The world that conspires against the older artist
Thirty stories in the incomparably distinctive voice of the author whose publishing career started with the comic novel Rappaport. One story starts with “I won a house in a lottery”, and proceeds to career seemingly out of control – except it isn’t. Other stories open in equally startling fashion.
Try: “Hergesheimer flees his marriage in a twenty-four-year-old car …”; “How do you steal from a thief?”; “Show me a man without tantrum and I’ll show you a man without blood”; “The prettiest damsel in many a moon drops a smile in Hergesheimer’s direction, which he, ever the gallant, snatches expertly up, with a bow courteously returns.”
Lurie’s vast body of work includes novels, short stories, non-fiction collections and children’s books, among them his first comic novel Rappaport, his autobiography Whole Life and a book voted by Australian schoolchildren as their favourite, The Twenty-Seventh Annual African Hippopotamus Race. He has been compared with acclaimed American Jewish writers such as Philip Roth, Saul Bellow and Woody Allen.