True History of the Kelly Gang Author:Peter Carey The international bestseller and winner of the 2001 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. — Out of 19th century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations: Ned Kelly, the son of poor Irish immigrants, viewed by the authorities as a thief (especially of horses) and, as a cold-blooded killer. To the people, though, he... more » was a patriot hounded unfairly by rich English landlords and their stooges. In the end, Kelly and his so-called gang (his younger brother and two friends) led a massive police manhunt on a wild goose chase that lasted twenty months, in which Ned’s talents as a bushman were augmented by bank robberies and the support of nearly everyone not in a uniform. His one demand – for which he would have surrendered himself was his jailed mother’s freedom.
Executed by hanging more than a century ago, speaking as if from the grave, Kelly still resonates as the most potent legend in the land down under.« less
This book is fascinating as written as the discovered "first hand account" of Ned Kelly. The author has filled the pages with all the flavor, pain, sorrow, confusion and simple daily delights of a back woods boy who grew to become the leader of the infamous Kelly Gang. The words fairly drip with sweat as the dread Ned Kelly goes from a hard working son to a bonded out side kick of the local Robin Hood. Life is never the same, but perhaps for the Kelly's it never was meant to be.
How I wish these were the words from the man himself, but these words certainly capture all the drama and joys that are so foreign to our current world.
the colloquial and "uneducated" style in which the book is written is disconcerting at the beginning but once you fall under the sway of the story it becomes much less noticeable except as a reminder and reinforcer of the time/place/situation.
i enjoyed it very much and would go out of my way to read other novels by peter carey on the basis of this experience.