Amnesia finds Carey looking back to the Australia of his younger days, in particular to the politically charged year of 1975, and the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. But Amnesia is no mere exercise in nostalgia; the novel’s over-arching theme is the complex relationship between Australia and America since the end of World War II.
In the here-and-now, washed-up journalist and hack Felix Moore is engaged by old-friend and shadowy entrepreneur Woody 'Wodonga' Townes to ghost-write the story of Assange-like computer hacker Gaby Baillieux, born in Melbourne on 11&nbps;November 1975. The story of Gaby, her mother and grandmother, takes the reader from the Battle of Brisbane in 1942, the turbulence of the Whitlam sacking, through to recent use of the Internet as a platform to publish classified and secret government information.
Richly told in a bold and colourful vernacular language, and filled with larger-than-life characters, Carey's indefatigable book is big in every sense. By turns comic and angry, and wildly ambitious in scope, Amnesia is a novel that revels in the complexities of Australia's political landscape over the past half-century.