I was bought this novel for my birthday in late January, started it mid-February, and due to general business of life, have only just finished reading it this morning. It is a truly unique novel; quite unlike anything I have come across before. It is part bildungsroman, part romance, part adventure story and part cock-and-bull story (of the finest kind, I might add).  If I try to describe the events which take place between its 500 pages, it will sound equally strange: the story  explores the battles between the different branches of Christianity, the study of the natural sciences, gambling (in various forms), travel, the New World, inheritance, the manufacture of glass, and, broadly speaking, eccentricity in various guises.

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Amongst all of these unlikely aspects, a romance emerges between the two characters of the title when they meet and discover that they are both gamblers (one obsessive; one compulsive). Ultimately this leads to Oscar taking on the bet of his lifetime: to see whether he can transport a glass church from Sydney to a remote settlement 400km up the coast.

If this all sounds most improbable, that’s because it is. It is also however, a very entertaining read.