read online True History of the Kelly Gang –

Ned Kelly Australia S Most Potent Legend Tells His Own Story Of The Very Human Man Behind The Mask A Young Boy Raised In The Grinding Poverty Of Colonial Victoria Grows Into A Young Man Defying The Wealth And Power Of Those Who Would Destroy Him He Speaks To Us Not As A Mythic Hero But As A Devoted Son, A Concerned Father And A Loyal FriendThis Internationally Acclaimed Novel Is Written In The Idiom Of Kelly S Famous Jerilderie Letter It Is Both Lament And Tribute, A Boy S Defence Of His Mother And A Father S Confiding Letter To A Daughter He Will Never Meet 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 Eventually the Kelly s gain their share of local support which leads to the ultimate showdown This story is ultimately a lesson on the folly of vengeance but the author deftly maintains a neutral view throughout At times there is real empathy for the Kelly forces and at times for the establishment Not surprisingly there are numerous innocents who are caught in the various conflicts Ned Kelly was indeed a real Australian outlaw or bushranger in the local vernacular While the historical facts known about Kelly are mostly preserved in this novel, most of the dialogue is manufactured The genius of the author is that with the prose, at times quite beautiful, there is a good deal of visual imagery and humanity presented that would be lacking in a straight history book I think this novel is probably best if read without knowing the true story of Ned Kelly If you know the real story or head to Wikipedia first you are still left with the great writing but it may not measure up to its accolades I liken this book to William Styron s historical fiction novel The Confessions of Nat Turner as there are obvious similarities between the two books Although I have a much greater level of empathy for Nat Turner s plight, I would give the nod to The True History of the Kelly Gang as the better andwell researched novel. 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 sympathetic vengeance fills me as I read Ned Kelly s account of the injustices done to him and his family by an out of control police force As if the dreary damp wretched pitiful lives of these people weren t enough On top of it all they are persecuted as Irish Catholics by a colonial British establishment One comes to the book with this expectation that it is about this out of control killer and his adherents But halfway through it dawns on you that Ned Kelly as depicted here is a moral hero It is only when he is pushed into a corner that he kills, and then his acts are in self defense Ned s claims of being sought by the police solely for purposes of summary execution without trial are incontrovertible Please look to the many other reviews here for a run down of the plot points Highly recommended. lmao i definitely didn t read the last 100 pages of this 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 you Peter Cary can write well, he s lyrical, and salty, and all that mmmm, smell that kangaroo, taste that kookaburra Ned Kelly, whose unlikely autobiography this is, is sweet and pungent and na ve and knowing and really beautiful, everybody says so and everybody is right You can t get past Peter Carey s front door without shoving aside all the awards which have spilled off his shelves, lots of them for this very novel But when I put this novel down to read a nonfiction zinger about obscure 78 records, and then another nonfiction zinger about the publication history of Ulysses, and then, today, I thought I d better pick Ned Kelly up again finish it, I found a new thought lying around in my brain, and the thought was nah, let s not.It wasn t the fact that this man Ned has perfect recall of every single solitary moment of his life, because that kind of annoying unlikeliness is something I guess you have to go along with because every long first person narrative has a bit of that about it, although it does grate here it wasthe whole illiteratish working class no good Irish bushranger type turns out to be sensitive yet strong courageous yet nice, tough yet tasty, mean yet poetic my God the human admirableness of Ned was laid on with a trowel, I could not tell if Ned was totally in love with himself or if Peter Carey was totally in love with Ned his creature But fatally for me, this whole cool Ned thing became cute. He was cute He was romantic He was like the guy in the Shangri Las song Oh yeah Well I hear he s bad Mmmm he s good bad, but he s not evil So this was shaping up to be a claustrophobically told cowboy yarn think The Outlaw Josey Wales or High Plains Drifter with a dash of Unforgiven and with another 237 pages to go I got off of my roan mare with the splash of silver over its left eye and stuffed a jumbuck in my tucker bag and scrambled over the billabong back to the 21st century.