Peter Carey's brilliant, hilarious, Booker Prize-short-listed Illywhacker is the novel that first brought him to international attention.
Herbert Badgery is vagabond and charlatan, aviator and car salesman, seducer and patriarch. He might very well be the embodiment of Australia's national character, especially in its fondness for tall stories and questionable history.
As this charming scoundrel traverses the continent and a century's worth of outlandish encounters - not least with a genteel dowager fending off madness with an electric belt and a ravishing young girl with a dangerous fondness for rooftop trysts - one truth emerges. Herbert Badgery may in fact be the king of all con men.