True History of the Kelly Gang

True History of the Kelly Gang What is it about we Australians eh demands a schoolteacher near the end of Peter Carey s True History of the Kelly Gang Do we not have a Jefferson A Disraeli Might not we find someone better to admir

  • Title: True History of the Kelly Gang
  • Author: Peter Carey
  • ISBN: 9780571209873
  • Page: 338
  • Format: Paperback
  • What is it about we Australians, eh demands a schoolteacher near the end of Peter Carey s True History of the Kelly Gang Do we not have a Jefferson A Disraeli Might not we find someone better to admire than a horse thief and a murderer It s the author s sole nod to the contradictory feelings Ned Kelly continues to evoke today, than a century after his death What is it about we Australians, eh demands a schoolteacher near the end of Peter Carey s True History of the Kelly Gang Do we not have a Jefferson A Disraeli Might not we find someone better to admire than a horse thief and a murderer It s the author s sole nod to the contradictory feelings Ned Kelly continues to evoke today, than a century after his death A psychopathic killer to some, a crusading folk hero to others, Kelly was a sharpshooting outlaw who eluded a brutal police manhunt for nearly two years For better or worse, he s now a part of the Australian national myth Indeed, the opening ceremonies for the Sydney Olympics featured an army of Ned Kellys dancing about to Irish music, which puts him in the symbolic company of both kangaroos and Olivia Newton John 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 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

    One thought on “True History of the Kelly Gang”

    1. This book is a wonder. It's interesting that it can be so effective when its artifice is so apparent. No one really writes like this. No one really uses this bizarre amalgam of heightened vocabulary, slang, and understatement; just to read a few pages is proof enough of that. The technique is mostly a kind of enjambed, run-on sentence style with colorful Australian argot. Yet one is completely mesmerized by the book. It's pleasures as a narrative are rich and unrelenting. My heart pounds and a s [...]

    2. Well here I am being a bad person again, I try to be good and I really do like to like things but you all are probably by now getting the strong idea that really I like to dislike things, such as Booker Prize winners and movies with Scarlet Johanssssssen in them. They call me Mr Grumpy, baby, cause baby, that’s my name. No, Otis Redding did not sing that song, I did. Well I did not make it even to the middle of this Kelly Gang saga and the reasons are disturbing – for me, that is, not for yo [...]

    3. Description: In True History of the Kelly Gang," " the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous [...]

    4. If, like me, you don't know anything about Ned Kelly when you start this book, don't be scared off by the first two pages with the killer robot. That will all become clear later. Really, between the cover design, the killer robot, and the difficult style, I thought I was going to hate this book. Halfway through it, I realized I was totally in love with it. It was this paragraph that really did it for me:We thought you doomed and rooned the minute you walked out past the chook house and Wild deli [...]

    5. This historical novel set in Australia won the Man Booker Prize in 2001 and truly is a great read despite a slow start. The wild west narrative builds steam as the main character, Ned Kelly, and his hardscrabble Irish family deal with the corrupt law enforcement in the Australian bush of the 1870’s. As the story follows Ned as a teenager and then into young adulthood, Ned and the Kelly family act on different grievances, the stakes become escalated as they perpetuate numerous crimes. Eventuall [...]

    6. I fell in love with the voice of Ned Kelly. I can't make judgement on Ned Kelly, but I loved the character as told over to us by Peter Carey. I was simply quite taken. When I first started the book I felt that a little punctuation wouldn't be amiss but as the story continued I started to think in that voice, to hear it in my head and roll the sounds of it around in my mouth. This is the line where I realized that I loved this book, "He were as lazy as the dog that rests its head against the wall [...]

    7. This novel won Peter Carey the Booker Prize in 2001, snubbingAtonement, number9dream, Oxygen and Hotel World. He remains one of only three Australian authors to have won the award (the other two being Thomas Keneally andD.B.C. Pierre) and the only Australian author to win the Booker twice - first time in 1988 for his historical novel Oscar and Lucinda. He shares the honor with J.M. Coetzee, J.G. Farrell and Hilary Mantel.I had little knowledge about Ned Kelly before reading this novel, except fo [...]

    8. This fascinating novel from Man Booker prize winner Peter Carey explores the story of the deadly Kelly Gang from the perspective of one of the Kellys. The Kelly gang has an interesting role in Australian history as a band of renegades that were treated like shit by society and forced (or not depending on how you view it) to take to a life of brigandry to survive. They were brutally hunted down by the Aussie government but the hunt took years and cost many lives. The book is exciting and very wel [...]

    9. Talk about total immersion!Reading this was like being dunked and held under in the inhospitable waters of hardtack bush life in the 19th century, and no, Carey is not letting you up for air! The language and style -a torrential outpouring of unpunctuated vernacular- does take some getting used to, and can be potentially confusing at first (and even later)but I think it's part of what gives this novel such a strong faculty for transporting the reader to another time and place. (I were there with [...]

    10. This is an 'adjectival' original piece of historical fiction. Carey did a fine job recreating Ned Kelly's voice. A piece of 19th century Australian history come to life through the masterly invented voice of Australia's most famous bushranger.

    11. Written in the words of the infamous bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly – Australia’s Jesse James/ Robin Hood – the True History of the Kelly Gang is a novel which accounts Kelly’s life from impoverished childhood to inevitable capture and execution. Kelly’s story centers on the unfairness and corruption of the nineteenth century Australian legal system, and the discriminations against the poor and the Irish (of which Kelly was both). Through it all, Ned Kelly’s motivations are for jus [...]

    12. Why hadn't I read this before? It's a fantastic novel.Carey's fictionalised account of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly's short, eventful life grips from start to finish. He sticks to the known story, but gives it an emotional heart to add to the pure entertainment value.His stroke of genius is to make it Ned's narrative. It could so easily have been bungled - how many of us could write as a 19th Century Bushranger? But Carey pulls it off. Of course, it's impossible to know how accurate his impersona [...]

    13. In aninterview with the Guardian newspaper in 2001, Peter Carey stated that the idea for writing a history of Ned Kelly started when he read the so-called Jerilderie Letter in a museum in the 1960s. This 8,000 word, 56-page letter was dictated to fellow gang member Joe Byrne by Ned following the robbery of the Jerilderie bank in 1879. In it Ned explains why he has been driven to lead a life as a bushranger following persecution of his family by a corrupt police force and victimisation of poor Ir [...]

    14. The book aint no adjectival ordinary good read it were an Australian bush tale about ole Ned Kelly a real life legendary criminal and hero and how he were forced to become a bushranger by the effing corrupt police and judges and them fellers what owned everything and bent the law to their favor. Ole Ned wrote his story in letter form to his unborn daughter being carried in the belly of his beloved whore Mary Hearn he seen his family treated poorly and himself put in gaol for no good reason. It [...]

    15. Peter Carey is an adjectival genius. You coves, when you tell your history to your daughters, tell it true as Ned Kelly did. History has some rough spots. Mates and traitors. For me, the best parts of True History of the Kelly Gang, in no particular order, were: the complex relationship of Kelly and his Ma; the blossoming character of Mary Hearn; and the story of how Whitty got his land with the help of the Devil. There is, it turns out, only one wish the Devil can not grant.

    16. True History of Kelly Gang is a 12 hour long movie screenplay in the form of a book which is probably 2 hours too long. Making an outlaw the hero of the story essentially means a lot of justification for how he ended up there. The facts that Edward Kelly was a recorded Irish Bushranger in Australia and has made an attempt to tell his side of the story during one of his hold-ups are the only two connecting points for this big a yarn.Peter Carey's tone sounds like a wild western novel with horses [...]

    17. I read this back when the Ned Kelly film was released because I got so hung up on this Aussie legend! And it was such a fantastic read! Finally I was able to experience this man's life (or a guesstimate of this man's life, which is why I shelved it as non-fiction as well as historical fiction) as it happened. History is fantastic, and I've been to Glenrowan and seen artefacts that are proof of the legend, but this was beautifully told with a lot of heart and I was captivated by being a part of i [...]

    18. Finished: 10 November 2017Title: True History of the Kelly GangGenre: novel (historical)Score: CReview: The story is one long letter to Ned Kelly's unborn daughter. Instead of a sequence of dated lettersCarey has divided the book into 13 parcels of manuscripts. Ned tells his story in his own distinctive style. There is little in the way of punctuation or grammar: “I said I were”… “effing, eff,"Weak point: It took time to get used to reading this! The language shows Ned’s lack of educat [...]

    19. This is written as an memoir (difference between an autobiography & a memoir; memoirs don't have indexes) Ned Kelly is setting down for an infant daughter he will never see. Kind of poignant actually. Carey wrote this in a nineteenth century Australian vernacular. Kind of like Trainspotting. Not for everyone. Normally I'd find it annoying and pretentious, but Carey makes it work. That alone probably merits his Booker. The story by itself is amazing. Even in his own words Kelly clearly is no [...]

    20. Here is the story of Ned Kelly, as told in his own words. Or at least that is the novel's conceit. In True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey channels Australia's most famous outlaw, relating his tale in powerfully rich, though semi-literate prose. Anyone who's familiar with Ned Kelly's legend (don't worry, you don't need to know anything about Ned Kelly to enjoy the novel) will expect this book to be largely about the so-called Kelly Outbreak, but that is not the case. In fact we don't reach [...]

    21. Once I acclimated to the sentence structure, the poor grammar, the lack of punctuation, I rather enjoyed the book. The author did research the subject, so that's a plus, you never know what you might get with historical fiction nowadays. I remember several years back watching the movie with Heath Ledger. Pretty similar book more detailed of course. If a fan of Australia, outlaws, Rebels I'd suggest this book

    22. Última fotografia de Ned Kelly - tirada por Charles Nettleton (10 Novembro 1880)“A Verdadeira História do Bando de Ned Kelly” é um romance do escritor australiano Peter Carey (n. 1943) que foi laureado com o Man Booker Prize for Fiction em 2001.O Man Booker Prize for Fiction é um dos prémios literários que mais valorizo; quase sempre são premiados livros no género romance ou no género romance histórico, e que têm contribuído, definitivamente, para algumas das minhas melhores leit [...]

    23. I have no idea why it took me so long to read this book. I seemed to plod through the pages at a glacial pace, maybe this was due to a busy period and only having time to read in bed or it could be due to a difficulty in getting into it as once I was into the book I seemed to move along at a good pace. I still enjoyed it immensely and the lack of punctuation and grammar etc that seems to have put others off didn't bother me. It was good to get a glimpse into the Australia of the late 19th centur [...]

    24. I like anything Carey. Nothing is going to beat Oscar and Lucinda in my heart, but this one is not bad either. The style is so adjectivally good!Poignant and entertaining, it’s a story of a bushman and an Australian folk hero, Ned Kelly, told in his own voice in a form of a long lost memoir. Carey apparently came up with Kelly’s unique voice after coming across a real letter Kelly wrote to the authorities explaining why he was innocent of the crimes ascribed to him. It had its own singular g [...]

    25. Ned Kelly was executed in Melbourne jail on 11 November 1880. His last words are supposed to have been ‘Ah well, I suppose it has come to this.’ Carey’s novel reclaims Kelly from myth to reconstruct him as a man by telling the story of his brief life in the outlaw’s own voice. Thanks to Carey's extraordinary skill, the emotional power of this individual's story is made real, which made the book even more enjoyable.

    26. I suppose since this book had won the Booker I was primed for one of the best books I've ever read. And it was good. But not one of the best books I've ever read. Just above average. I actually liked Carey's, My Life as a Fake, better. And, Wrong about Japan, just as much.

    27. Ever since my high school boyfriend outed me to my youthful music idol as a slavering fangirl, I resolved to be moderate in my attitudes towards artists whose work I admire. Not that I want to downplay my enjoyment of their art, or affect a "too cool for enthusiasm" attitude. But I realized that day at the indie-rock festival how wrong it was that I was uncomfortable speaking face-to-face with this personable, modest woman, all because I had elevated her onto an unreasonable pedestal. I was unab [...]

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