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True History of the Kelly Gang | [Peter Carey]

True History of the Kelly Gang

Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years.
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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2001

Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years. Brilliantly novelized by Peter Carey, the story of the Kelly Gang unfolds from a series of 13 compassionate letters written, while on the run, by Kelly to his infant daughter. Building from this historical legend and testing our sympathies, Carey crafts a deeply humanistic piece of historical fiction, a tale of injustice and violence.

©2000 Peter Carey (P)2001 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"No reader will be left unmoved by this dramatic tale....A novel that teems with energy, suspense and the true story of a memorable protagonist." (Publishers Weekly)
"Historical fiction doesn't get much better than this." (School Library Journal)
"Packed with incident, alive with comedy and pathos...contains pretty much everything you could ask of a novel." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (265 )
5 star
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4.1 (85 )
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (82 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 10-26-13
    David Petry Santa Barbara, CA USA 10-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Adjectively excellent"

    This is not like any outlaw story I've ever read. It is told from Ned's own lips and a short way in you've forgotten there's a narrator or an author. These are Ned Kelly's own writings, damn it, and told in his own voice.

    The story is engaging, taut and utterly authentic. It is peopled with a humanity that oozes with veracity. The good and the bad are hardly imagined in this tale. There is the living and the loves, the family, the life under someone's thumb. And through it all, I felt like I was there and found myself sneering once or twice, 'adjectively.'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Tucson, Az, United States 06-10-13
    Karen Tucson, Az, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Blew me away. Total addiction."
    Would you listen to True History of the Kelly Gang again? Why?

    Not sure. It's a powerful story and I'm going to remember it forever.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of True History of the Kelly Gang?

    There were so many. Probably when he starts to write his own story inside the story. He was an idealist born in a terrible environment.


    Have you listened to any of Gianfranco Negroponte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't know.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. When it became clear that the Parliament member would never pay attention to him -- his righteous cause would be neglected. All he wanted to do was work a farm while he was pushed and shoved by his family, the police, and the corrupt system to become an outlaw.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved it. It's inspired me to see where he lived in Australia. Good excuse to visit that country again and see where one of it's great heroes lived and died.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-17-13
    Karen Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally new to me"

    I "read" this for my book group--- would not have thought to read it otherwise-- and that's what good book groups are good for! This was a fascinating story, nicely rendered. I did actually read part of it, and found I was very glad for the audio version, as the story is written in the Australian dialect of its time period. Kind of hard to read, visually. But easy to hear. The characters and story are engaging... FYI, this is historical fiction. So it's based on real people and situations, and thoroughly researched, but is still fiction.

    I felt like I learned a lot and enjoyed the ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neale X. Trangucci Summit, NJ, US 05-02-13
    Neale X. Trangucci Summit, NJ, US 05-02-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    14
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    "Superb! Maybe my favorite audiobook experience"
    What made the experience of listening to True History of the Kelly Gang the most enjoyable?

    Language is beautiful. Story is fabulous. Perfomance by the reader is wonderful. I couldn't wait to get to my car for my daily commute to listen to this masterpiece. LOVED it. On a par with the Killer Angels as an historical novel.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ned Kelly. Principalled (for a killer) and tough. The character is beautifully written with depth and complexity. I really cared about him. One of the most memorable characters I've ever encountered in literature.


    Have you listened to any of Gianfranco Negroponte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But he was super.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Everytime the author reminded by that Ned was speaking to his daughter as he told the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 10-07-11
    gail San Rafael, CA, United States 10-07-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "why was this book so highly recommended?"

    unbearable, unrelenting sordid scenes--one after another--until I felt bludgeoned. Mothers sleeping with wives' boyfriends, murder, torture, dirt, squalor, flies, blood, death--it just never stopped. Someone told me that as a Dickens reader, I'd like this book and I cannot imagine anything as remote from Dickens as Peter Carey's "True History of the Kelly Gang"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Tillema 09-16-11
    E. Tillema 09-16-11 Member Since 2007

    Hairymare

    ratings
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    "Thoroughly Enjoyed the Book"

    I surprised myself by really getting into this book. Interesting and well done. Kudos.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sparks, NY, United States 12-26-09
    John Sparks, NY, United States 12-26-09 Member Since 2008

    NV, not NY

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "More Amazing Than Fiction"

    Although the author did a fantastic job of fictionalizing the story surrounding the true story of Ned Kelly, it's true aspects of the story that are most amazing. The fact that every step of Ned's life were guided by despiration makes for real page turner. The Aussie accents take a bit getting used to, but I learned a lot of colorful phrases and a lot about Aussie history and culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trustme CO 11-15-06
    Trustme CO 11-15-06 Member Since 2004

    notapundit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
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    "Go get 'em!"

    Plucky colonial trailer trash stick it to adjectival pommy b______s. Most enjoyable.

    2 of 13 people found this review helpful
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