True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
5
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Out of nineteenth-century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations, in this masterpiece by the Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and Jack Maggs. Exhilarating, hilarious, panoramic, and immediately engrossing, it is also--at a distance of many thousand miles and more than a century--a Great American Novel. This is Ned Kelly's true confession, in his own words and written on the run for an infant daughter he has never seen. To the authorities, this son of dirt-poor Irish immigrants was a born thief and, ultimately, a cold-blooded murderer; to most other Australians, he was a scapegoat and patriot persecuted by "English" landlords and their agents. With his brothers and two friends, Kelly eluded a massive police manhunt for twenty months, living by his wits and strong heart, supplementing his bushwhacking skills with ingenious bank robberies while enjoying the support of most everyone not in uniform. He declined to flee overseas when he could, bound to win his jailed mother's freedom by any means possible, including his own surrender. In the end, however, she served out her sentence in the same Melbourne prison where, in 1880, her son was hanged. Still his country's most powerful legend, Ned Kelly is here chiefly a man in full: devoted son, loving husband, fretful father, and loyal friend, now speaking as if from the grave. With this mythic outlaw and the story of his mighty travails and exploits, and with all the force of a classic Western, Peter Carey has breathed life into a historical figure who transcends all borders and embodies tragedy, perseverance, and freedom.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2001.
ISBN: 9780375410840
0375410848
Branch Call Number: CARE
Characteristics: 350p. 24cm.

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b
baldand
Apr 23, 2016

Peter Carey comes from the same part of Victoria State as Ned Kelly and grew up with the landscapes painted so evocatively in this book. It is a terrible tale of how a corrupt class-conscious colonial society turned a good-hearted hard-working child of Irish immigrants into a thief and a killer. Nevertheless, the book is a joy to read because of its poetic style, Peter Carey's ear for dialogue and his wonderful sense of humour.

Jane60201 Sep 30, 2013

I read it because I liked Olivier and Parrot in America but didn't like it nearly as well and didn't actually finish it.

b
bjessima
Sep 05, 2013

Wonderful. The use of venacular was difficult at first but what a read. An insight to a world that was not long ago but was one that I had no experience with. Not for all, but excellent

v
vcc
Oct 01, 2011

This book about Australia's infamous "Kelly Gang" just was not exciting.

h
Hadley
Dec 04, 2007

Great book, written in a unique voice.

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