Saturday, 6 March 2010

The True History of the Kelly Gang


DATE READ: February 2010

NOTES: Because Peter Carey is such a good writer we approach his work with high expectations. The True History of the Kelly Gang does not disappoint. Carey allows Ned Kelly to tell his own story. The book reads as if it is a direct transcript of handwritten documents with each chapter beginning with a description of the pages.

It is a somewhat depressing tale of the inexorable descent into lawlessness for someone who had all the cards stacked against him. The writing is very atmospheric and shows the harshness of 19th century Australia where the forces of law and order are themselves beyond the law.

I enjoyed this book immensely – but did feel that some of the episodes in the middle of the book were a bit repetitive. However the fine writing and sympathetic portrayal of a folk hero overcame this.

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