The Thorn Birds Paperback – May 27 2003
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"A heart-rending epic...truly marvelous" -- --Chicago Tribune
"A perfect Read...The kind of book the world blockbuster was made" -- --Boston Globe
"Beautiful...compelling entertaiment" -- unknown
From the Back Cover
Now, 25 years after it first took the world by storm, Colleen McCullough's sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback returns to enthrall a new generation. As powerful, moving, and unforgettable as when it originally appeared, it remains a monumental literary achievement—a landmark novel to be read . . . and read again!See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, I know I am in the minority here, but I never felt engaged with any characters, and at the end I felt I was only just beginning to understand most of them.
This is the story of the Cleary family, originally from Ireland, who emigrate first to New Zealand, and early on, to Australia. The young Cleary daughter, Meggie, falls in love with the local Catholic priest, Ralph de Briccasart, who is a good and ambitious man who certainly does nothing to encourage this love, but who certainly returns it as he regards Meggie as the daughter he can never have. As Meggie matures, he comes to regard her in a more romantic way. A great struggle arises between this love on the one hand ("the forbidden rose") and his ambition to become a Cardinal or perhaps more, on the other.
There is much, much, more to the story than this, however. The novel transports the reader to Australia, and makes that country a real place to those of us who have never been there. This is also the story of the struggles of the Cleary family, as they battle with, and come to love, the rich outback country of Australia. This is an extraordinarily authentic and moving story that any review (or at least this one) can only fail to do justice.
McCullough's prose is simply outstanding, and her characters crackle with realism--they become utterly real people and the reader will become swept away with this wonderful story. The storyline never drags, and at no point does this novel ever fail to completely capture the reader's attention. This novel is not only a classic; it is a ripping good read! If you have not yet enjoyed this novel, you are in for a wonderful reading experience.
In some ways, it's ironic that this book just didn't do it for me. "Gone With the Wind" is one of my favorite books, and to many people, "The Thornbirds" is a similar type of book. Both novels are long-winded, elaborate sagas, each filled what are supposed to be intriguing and unusual characters and grand settings. But most of these criteria are exactly what I felt was wrong wtih "The Thornbirds." The long descriptions (there was one description simply of Australian wildlife was FOUR pages long) were for the most part ineffective here. Occasionally, when one was to introduce a character, or explain someone's psyche, these long descriptions were necessary. But more often, they were just a pain. I often found myself bored by the profusion of information, and felt that the author was "describing" just because she enjoyed doing it.
In addition to simply boring passages, the whole book felt very "uneven." In "Gone With the Wind," each chapter seems exciting and the book flies by.Read more ›
My only complaints are that towards the end of the book, the drama fizzles out. Too much attention is paid to the unsympathetic and uninteresting character of Justine, and her relationship with the equally boring Rainer. As for Dane, I found him to be a little too "perfect." While he was supposed to be a better version of Ralph, the author should have given him at least one flaw. It would have made his character easier to identify with. The whole reason why Ralph worked so well was because he was a flawed human being, and struggled his entire life to reconcile that reality with his desire for perfection. Although, it did seem as the author tried to make him a superfluous character at end. She drifted away from the main story of Meggie and Ralph.
All in all though, The Thorn Birds is a great book, very descriptive and emotionally involving.
Most recent customer reviews
I'd seen the mini series years ago, and now have finally read the book. An excellent read...that I would recommend to anyone. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mrs. E. Clark-Emmons
So loved this read for the second time around! Perhaps even better the second time than the first. So much depth!Published on Sept. 12 2013 by Amazon Customer
Not only a great romance between people but a romance with the land..It is obvious Colleen loves Australia
At times it was hard to put down.. Read more
I grew up knowing that The Thorn Birds was one of my mothers favourite books. I purchased it and read it in less than a week - I literally couldn't put it down. Read morePublished on July 15 2013 by Shauna MacKenzie
If you have seen the movie, you will love the book! A beautiful love story of the "forbidden" fruit kind. Read morePublished on June 25 2013 by N. Isles
I enjoyed this classic novel.....lots of intrigue....provides insight into the harsh reality of the outback in Australia and the influence of the Catholic Church on the lives of... Read morePublished on June 7 2013 by Pauline Faubert