His Illegal Self

  • by Peter Carey
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Che is a precocious young boy raised in isolated privilege by his New York grandmother. Yearning for his famous outlaw parents - radical 1960s activists who are now among the FBI's most wanted - he's denied access to television and the news. But he takes hope from his teenage neighbor, who predicts, "They will come for you, man. They'll break you out of here."One afternoon, the prediction appears to come true. Soon Che, too, is an outlaw, fleeing into the subway and pitched into a journey that leads to a hippie commune in the jungles of tropical Australia. Here, Che slowly, bravely confronts his life, learning that nothing is what it seems.


What the Critics Say

"Peter Carey's enthralling new novel is psychologically taut [and] starkly beautiful." (New York Times Book Review)
"A beautiful and emotionally compelling novel....at its core [this] is an ancient and magnificently eerie fairy tale, about a child wise beyond his years, stolen away to the forest, undergoing every kind of mortal trial, and surviving, in a surprising state of luminous grace." (O Magazine)
"Psychologically astute and diabolically suspenseful." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Just finished this audiobook and was dismayed to read the poor reviews especially those directed at the narrator. I thought the narrator was right on target with both characters (child, grandmother, hippies etc.) and accents (ok maybe brooklyn/new jersey were not perfect). In fact, he made the book come alive for me, don't think I would have enjoyed it as much as a book read vs. this audio version. As far as the plot, I think it was brilliantly done. The movement back and forth between past and present, and among thoughts of the characters, kept my attention, stimulated my interest, and pleased me with its cleverness. It definitely contributed nicely to the forward movement of the story. Slowly, steadily it all comes together. Another great from one of my favorite authors!
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- ring46

Deeply Confusing Book

Firstly: 3 stars for the book, 0 stars for the narrator -- his new 'yawk', boston, and australian accents all sounded the same -- like some horrible hybrid of the three. Every time he switched into an accent I prepared to cringe.
So the book may have been better read than listened to, but I don't know...it was basically a thoroughly confusing story that went nowhere, something which normally sounds pretty good to me, except that there's always a suggestion that something is GOING to happen...
I'm a big fan of Peter Carey, and would recommend this book lastly among the ones he's written.
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- Tobias

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-15-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.