Audiobooks Cairo –

Cairo Frustrated by country life and eager for adventure and excitement, eighteenyearold Tom Button moves to the city to study Once there, and living in a rundown apartment block called Cairo, he is befriended by an eccentric musician Max Cheever, his beautiful wife Sally, and their closeknit circle of painters and poets Tom is delighted at his new life, but his charismatic older friends aren’t quite what they appear to be As he falls increasingly under their sway, Tom enters a bohemian world of parties and gallery openings, but also of sinister events involving murder, deception and betrayal, not to mention one of the greatest unsolved art heists of the twentieth century: the infamous theft of Picasso’s *Weeping Woman* Set among the demimonde — where nothing and nobody is as they seem — *Cairo* is a novel about growing up, the perils of first love, and finding one’s true place in the world While I enjoyed this novel, mostly, the setting of the 1980s just didn't ring true for me, I'm not sure why It just didn't quite seem right, it seemed1960s I found it really shit that in order to demonstrate how annoying and spoilt Eve was we learn that she was extended breastfed C'mon that's a pathetic connection!! I just about threw the book across the room at that one Extended breastfeeding is a good thing, not disgusting gah. I was looking forward to reading Chris Wormersley's novel Cairo, as someone who has grown up in Melbourne, remembers the theft of Picasso's Weeping Woman from the National Gallery, and travels past the alluring Cairo apartments every day on the tram But right from the outset, something just didn't work for me, and it became increasingly annoying, at least until the halfway point, where the plot picks up pace The thing that rankled was the voice Why did this description of Melbourne in the 1980s, when postpunk was in full swing in the inner suburbs, instead make me think it was the 1920s Long Island of Gatsby, or England of Brideshead Revisited? Because of the overworked 'literary' prose Two examples from the early chapters:'He walked with his torso tilted forwards at the waist, as if so accustomed to accommodating the lesser height of most people that it had become an established part of his demeanor.'' That wasn't you listening to Pink Floyd the other day, was it? The manner in which he asked me this intimated that the admission of such a crime would be tantamount to confessing involvement in the Holocaust.'Gosh, what a lot of syllables for a fairly simple notion.The question was 'Who's voice is this?' Certainly not the voice of 17 year old Tom, the protagonist who had just left high school Obviously his older self (since the book is in the first person), at some later time of life, but the actual storyteller is never revealed, and for me that voice was just incongruous Interestingly, once the art heist takes centre stage, about halfway through, the ponderous language is scaled back and the dynamics of the plot make the ride home an enjoyable one. On one side of the large, busy road were the Carlton Gardens with their tennis courts and stately avenues of elm trees On the other side, almost hidden behind a hedge and an overgrown peppercorn tree, was the apartment block with its name spelled out in white metal lettering affixed to one of its redbrick walls: Cairo.This is our introduction to the Fitzroy apartment block where 17yo country boy, Tom Button, comes to live in the summer of 1986 There he meets a large cast of eclectic characters and is (fictionally) drawn into participating in a reallife, stillunsolved art theft; that of Picasso's Weeping Woman from the NGV While there are quite a few characters in this story, I thought that Tom was the only one that I really got to know well For him, it's the time of his life his coming of age and experiencing first that instant I understood love as a symptom for which the only cure was love itself, a riddle from which there was no escapeBut naturally, this being his first love, you know it's not going to be a happy ever after.How appalling is love: it is almost impossible to judge if someone feels it for you, and yet you know instantly when those feelings are retracted Almost as if love, like air, is best detected by the lack of it.The writing is beautiful and the plot moves along at a nice pace, but the thing that really made this novel special for me was the incredible evocation of 1980s Australia, Melbourne, and in particular, the Fitzroy/Carlton area. This is my first experience reading Chris Womersley and I'm very impressed Cairo is a wonderful evocation of Melbourne in the 1980s Womersley constructs beautiful sentences to tell this well structured story of some of the inhabitants in the Cairo apartment building in Fitzroy during the time of the theft of Picasso's 'Weeping Woman' from the NGV.I thought the protagonist, Tom, was a wonderfully drawn angst ridden eighteen year old, escaping a dull country town and finding love amongst a group of bohemian n'erdowells living in innercity Melbourne who plan the theft and forging of the Picasso.The story moves along quite well with interesting minor characters, It also has a lot of humour An example: He breathed through his mouth and spoke in abrupt barks, as if language were a bad taste of which he was eager to rid himself.The bitterness toward the end very neatly ties up this story of a gang of artists, con men and junkies that combines effortlessly with a beautiful and heartbreaking rites of passage for young Tom In particular, the ultimate betrayal of trust between these characters.I look forward to readingof this guy.

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