Peter Carey: The Tax Inspector

(1825 words)
  • Bruce Woodcock (University of Hull)
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 9.1.1: Australian Writing and Culture.

The Tax Inspector was Carey's first novel written from his new home in America, and his first fiction to be based solely in contemporary setting since Bliss and the short stories. It is a bleak and disturbing vision of a barbarous society. After the spacious panoramas and historical range of Illywhacker and Oscar and Lucinda, Carey restricts himself to almost classical limits of time and place. The tense action is based in the outer suburbs of contemporary Sydney over a period of four days, those being the divisions of the novel (chapters 1-29 Sunday/Monday; 30-45 Tuesday; 46-57 Wednesday; 58-61 Thursday). The pared-down narrative has the dialogic quality of a film-script and fluently interweaves strands of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Woodcock, Bruce. "The Tax Inspector". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2002
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]