Book Reviews of The Thorn Birds

The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds
Author: Colleen McCullough
ISBN-13: 9780060837556
ISBN-10: 0060837551
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Pages: 704
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 23

4.2 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: Avon Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

48 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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Helpful Score: 4
Here is the towering epic about three generations of a remarkable family in the Australian outback that was the basis for one of the most beloved television miniseries of all time.

Very good!
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
McCullough's sweeping saga captivates from the first page as you are swept along into the lives of all the characters. You won't want this one to end!
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Helpful Score: 4
Colleen McCullough's wildly popular epic blockbuster, first published in 1977, follows the fortunes of the Cleary family over three generations, but concentrates mainly on Meggie and her passionate, obsessive love for a Catholic priest, Father Ralph. The complex, passionate plot, along with McCullough's vivid descriptions of the Australian outback, made the book a best-seller--and the movie made from it in 1983 a huge success.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A heart-rending epic of violence, love, piety, family roots, passion, pain, triumph, tragedy, roses, and thorns.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 3389 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A moving story of a family of all boys from New Zealand who have a young sister named Meggie. They are hardworking lower class people who work the land and shear sheep. When the family moves to Australia to inherit property, young Meggie becomes bonded to the local Priest from the first day she saw him. As she grows up, the friendship blossoms into a school girl crush, then a first kiss. Meggie wants the relationship to go further... but she is not able to get her wish. Young Meggie is in love and is not able to forget Fr. Ralph no matter what she does. She soon moves away from the family homestead by becoming married to Luke O'Neal, a substitute for Fr. Ralph. Her marriage to Luke is terrible and she is extremely miserable. Fr. Ralph, in a moment of weakness and concern for Meggie's health, comes back into the picture. He cannot forget the love he had for Meggie either. Both are not able to say no and their passion overwhelmes them. The consequences of their act plague them for a lifetime... a remarkable story showing the vunerability, yet obedience to the priesthood.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book held my attention and I read it quickly because I couldn't put it down. An excellent book!
reviewed The Thorn Birds on
Helpful Score: 1
Read this as a teen, and I still remember it was just a gorgeous story!
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 329 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Colleen McCullough's sweeping saga of dreams, struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback has enthralled readers the world over. This is the chronicle of three generations of Clearys, ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. Most of all, it is the story of only daughter Meggie and her lifelong relationship with the haunted priest Father Ralph de Bricassart-an intense joining of two hearts and souls that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma.
A poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit, Colleen McCullough's acclaimed masterwork remains a monumental literary achievement-a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book. Lots to think about. I love when books don't follow moral conventions but you still empathize with the main characters (like Dr. Zhivago). I think it's good for us as humans to examine why we believe what we believe and if there is any room for grey areas. This book certainly accomplishes that task.
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An oldie, but a goodie! This is a sweeping story filled with love, lies, and tragedy. The detailed locations provide the perfect backdrop in terms of how the story unfolds as well as how the story comes full circle.
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A #1 Bestseller that was made into a TV mini-series in the '80s, starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward. If you liked the mini-series, you'll love the book.

"A saga, and everything, simply everything, happens. It'll keep you hanging on till the last paragraph."- The Boston Globe
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I really enjoyed this family saga! The setting, in Australia, really came alive and all the characters were vibrant and interesting.
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The Thorn Birds is a beautiful book that concentrates on family and the love between them.

Quite honestly it has been years since I read this book, however, I do remember that it was one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 10 more book reviews
I read this book years ago.....before it became the fantastically sucessful miniseries back in the early 80's. I have read many novels over the years and this one is hands down one of the best and most well written. Ms. McCullough has tremendous insight into the human heart and psyche as her very well developed characters demonstrate. Although this is not an altogether "happy" story, it is superbly powerful and moving nonetheless. Utterly believable.
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THE THORN BIRDS is probably the greatest love story ever told. It was immortalizied into a miniseries with Barbara Striesand and Richard Chamberlain. You will cry your eys out over this one!
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 57 more book reviews
A great book, and so very heartbreaking. A classic, what can I say!
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Excellent epic saga written wonderfully well by a truly masterful storyteller!
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A wonderful saga that takes you through several generations of an Australian family. If you loved the miniseries, you definitely need to read the book as many other facts and details are included that make everything come together even better.
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Ohmygoodness, I love this book. It's such an epic story that spans 40 years and 3 generations of the Cleary family. The only thing that people may object to is the priest's throwing away of his ordination vows. But it's such a well-written book that we almost forgive Father Ralph for succombing to his passion for Meggie.

I re-read it every now and then and remind myself of how much I enjoy this book.
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A gripping saga, spanning three generation, of a family struggling to establish itself in the Australian Outback.
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I really loved this book. If you like passionate but clean love stories then you will enjoy it too.
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I have read this book several times, it is just so good!
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This book took me awhile to read but it was worth it. Anything that could happen to a family in the span of 50 years happens in this book. The characters are amazing and you get fully wrapped up in their lives wanting you know how everything turns out. Great book!
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Following three generations of the Cleary family, "The Thorn Birds" is an incredibly epic and beautiful story of love and tragedy. It is one of my favorites.
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Loved it. Was definitely better than the movie.
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A modern American classic!
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hell of an epic for its day.
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This is one of the best books I have ever read. Hands down. I LOVE it, LOVE it.
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this was a good book that was later made into a television movie staring Richard Chamberlin
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A true classic! One of the best.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 11 more book reviews
my favorite book of all time.
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
Colleen McCullough's sweeping saga of dreams, struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback has enthralled readers the world over. This is the chronicle of three generations of Clearys, ranchers carving lives from a beautiful, hard land while contending with the bitterness, frailty, and secrets that penetrate their family. Most of all, it is the story of only daughter Meggie and her lifelong relationship with the haunted priest Father Ralph de Bricassart-an intense joining of two hearts and souls that dangerously oversteps sacred boundaries of ethics and dogma.
A poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit, Colleen McCullough's acclaimed masterwork remains a monumental literary achievement-a landmark novel to be cherished and read again and again.

SYNOPSIS
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I know that a lot of people love this book, but I read about halfway through and was bored, instead of scandalized. I don't know.
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I think The Thorn Birds is one of Colleen McCullough's best, after The Ladies of Missalonghi. This is even better than the mini-series.
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This was a best seller almost three decades ago, and when I read it 25 years after it was published, I could see that it deserved to be. Great story.
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MUCH better than the movie!
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Classic romantic saga of forbidden love in the Australian outback.
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The Thorn Birds is on my Top Ten List of favorite books...the characters are so developed in this wonderful book. Highly recommend it!! -Mirah W.
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love this sweeping saga...
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I read this in the eighties when it came out and loved it. Don't know how it has held up with time, though.
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A great book.
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Watch the mini series. It follows the book very well and you don't have to read about every flower in the garden.
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The front cover has a small tear but other than that it's a great read.
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has a different cover then the one shown, with a man courting a women
reviewed The Thorn Birds on
1977 copy
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The cover of this book is NOT as pictured-It is a Painting in close-up of (presumably) the hero (Chamberlain?) gently caressing the Heroine's (?) left cheek with his right hand. Otherwise it is the same book (This was simply a printing that emphasized the TV Tie-In).
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 8 more book reviews
Didnt read this book. Although watched the mini series on TV when little.
reviewed The Thorn Birds on + 9 more book reviews
I have never read this book couldn't tell you how it is. Just bought some PB's at a yardsale so I can list some on here so I can start getting books.