Alma Porch, novelist and aspiring dramatist, is hired to teach a course in Trinity College's "Better Body Through the Arts" summer program for overweight adults. On the rundown campus in the remote Australian outback, Alma is surrounded by starving matrons, orgies of sex and gluttony, and an eccentric group of staff and students who are eager to open themselves to the tran...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 4th 1986 by Penguin Books
(first published 1985)
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Dec 24, 2010 Trevor rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Elizabeth Jolley is easily one of the best Australian writers and probably where I would recommend you start if you are thinking of reading some Australian Lit. The first of her novels I ever read was at Uni a lifetime ago – Miss Peabody’s Inheritance. Jolley creates worlds that are both bizarre and funny, but I think she gets away with these worlds because she just never seemed to be the sort of person who should have been writing the books she has. She is like an imposter, someone who looks li...more
If I remember correctly (although after reading this novel, I'm not sure if I'm remembering anything correctly), I had requested from our local interlibrary loan Miss Peabody's Inheritance by Australian author Elizabeth Jolley. I received instead Foxybaby by the same author. I wonder if it makes a difference? I was taken into a surreal world, not unlike the Marx Brothers meeting the Keystone Kops in a mesmerizing, madcap where-is-this-going? caper, and don't think I made heads nor tails of the e...more
Jul 18, 2012 Bridgit rated it 1 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Man, I wanted to quit this book so many times. This ranks as one of the books to make me fall asleep the most. I really have no idea what the point of this book was. There was no real plot. Nothing really happened. There were a silly amount of characters that did nothing and we learned no backstory about so knew nothing of their motivations. Ugh. I am at a loss as to why Jolley is considered one of Australia's best writers. This book should never have come out of retirement.
I was really surprised at my difficulty reading this book. I've read other books by Elizabeth Jolley, who is an interesting, quirky writer, but I found this a slog. I wasn't interested in the characters, who I found tiresome, and the storyline was difficult to follow. This book was a dud, in my opinion, and I'm glad to have done with it.
i voted for this in the abr favourite australian novel poll - i dont think it made it to the top 100 full of earnest wintonesque blahblah & of course jolley could write garner into a paper bag & out again - just beats out the sublime mr scobies riddle
Monica Elizabeth Jolley was an award-winning writer who settled in Western Australia in the late 1950s. She was 53 years old when her first book was published, and she went on to publish fifteen novels (including an autobiographical trilogy), four short story collections, and three non-fiction books, publishing well into her 70s and achieving significant critical acclaim. She was also a pioneer of...moreMore about Elizabeth Jolley...