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|School & Library Binding, Nov 2001||
What's to be gained from telling this illiterate bushranger's story yet again? Quite a lot, as it turns out. For starters, there is the remarkable vernacular poetry of Carey's narrative voice. Fierce, funny, ungrammatical, steeped in Irish legends and the frontier's moral code, this voice is the novel's great achievement--and perhaps the greatest in Carey's distinguished career. It paints a vivid picture of an Australia where English landowners skim off the country's best territory while government land grants allow the settlers just enough acreage to starve. Cheated, lied to, and persecuted by the authorities at every opportunity, young Kelly retains no faith in his colonial masters. What he does trust, oddly, is the power of words:
And here is the thing about them men they was Australians they knew full well the terror of the unyielding law the historic memory of UNFAIRNESS were in their blood and a man might be a bank clerk or an overseer he might never have been lagged for nothing but still he knew in his heart what it were to be forced to wear the white hood in prison he knew what it were to be lashed for looking a warder in the eye ... so the knowledge of unfairness were deep in his bone and in his marrow.Ned Kelly as literary hero? Strangely enough, that's what he becomes, at least in Carey's rendering. Pouring his heart out in a series of letters to the country at large, Kelly wants nothing more than to be heard--and for the dirt-poor son of an Irish convict, that's an audacious ambition indeed. It's not so surprising, then, that his story continues to speak to Australians. Like all colonial countries, Australia was built at a steep human price, and the memory of all those silenced voices lives on. True History of the Kelly Gang takes its epigraph from Faulkner: "The past is not dead. It is not even past." And like Faulkner's own vast chronicle of dispossession, it's haunted by tragedies as large as history itself. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
That pretty much sums it up. The novel is narrated by Kelly in poorly punctuated fashion. Surprise! Kelly thinks he's a hero. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2010 by Rodge
Carey's actually not a very good author, and this actually isn't a very good book. If you really feel that you absolutely *MUST* read something about Ned Kelly, then erase those... Read morePublished on June 19 2003 by "writing_static"
I have been reading this book for months but still could not finish it. The reason is very simple. I find it hard to understand and comprehen the writing style in particular the... Read morePublished on May 2 2002
This was simply terrible, a slow drawn out book, literary style was suppose to intrigue you but instead bored the tears out of me. Read morePublished on April 23 2002 by "martinkearns"
I really didn't care if he lived or died, I just wanted the book to finally end.Published on April 14 2002 by plum9195
Peter Carey is truly amazing. What a wonderful, extraordinary novel this is. This is by far his best work. Read morePublished on April 1 2002 by Leigh Munro
In this Booker Prize winning historical novel set in late nineteenth century Australia, the outlaw Ned Kelly is brought to life in his own words. Read morePublished on March 24 2002 by D. Bakken