The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

71%

12 Critic Reviews

...I think it's exactly the sort of "dangerous" book teens should read. McCullough's story invites the reader in with its epic scope and scintillating possibilities, then cracks open the mind with its unexpectedly muddled wide-angle view of the world.
-NPR

Synopsis

“Beautiful….Compelling entertainment.”
New York Times

“A heart-rending epic…truly marvelous.”
Chicago Tribune


One of the most beloved novels of all time, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough’s sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback, returns to enthrall a new generation.

 

About Colleen McCullough

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Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 704 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Action & Adventure, Religion & Spirituality, Horror. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Thorn Birds
All: 12 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 11 1980

Indestructible Fiona and Meggie are left to bring about Justine's promising marriage to a sensitive, happily exiled German. Again, as in her last, Tim (1974), McCullough's groaning tuckerbag of implausibilities is redeemed somewhat by her sure footing among the shearing sheds and landscapes of Australia.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Germaine Greer on Aug 10 2007

It would probably be over the top to denounce The Thorn Birds as a sneakily racist and sectarian book, but it is definitely contrived and insidious. Let's just leave it at that.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Therese Walsh on Mar 09 2014

...I think it's exactly the sort of "dangerous" book teens should read. McCullough's story invites the reader in with its epic scope and scintillating possibilities, then cracks open the mind with its unexpectedly muddled wide-angle view of the world.

Read Full Review of The Thorn Birds | See more reviews from NPR

Stuff

Good
Reviewed by Karen Tay on Nov 02 2012

McCullough's prose is simple and workaday, much like the characters, who are truly frontierspeople at heart, and yet she manages to explore some huge existential themes, which is not surprising, considering that she is actually a neuroscientist by trade.

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Book Hooked Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Julie G on Jan 23 2012

It's a decent read, but after a steady diet of shows like The OC and One Tree Hill (yes I watched both) I didn't find it as shocking as I think it would have been for readers in the 70's.

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Medieval Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Meghan on Aug 22 2009

I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to get lost in these characters and in a huge, decades-long saga.

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Caroline Bookbinder

Good
Reviewed by Carin Siegfried on Aug 13 2012

It does suck you in and the story's enthralling and hard to put down. For anyone facing a long flight or just a long weekend looking for the ultimate distraction and getaway, The Thorn Birds is perfect.

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At Home With Books

Good
Reviewed by Alyce on Jul 09 2009

If you love epic tales of romance, especially those that span the lifetime of the main character, then I’m sure you will love this book!

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Giraffe Days

Good
on Feb 23 2015

The religion aspect of the novel is equally fascinating, and handled diplomatically as well. It is a book about ordinary people living ordinary lives, and sometimes deliberately causing themselves pain: hence the reference to the thorn bird, which pierces its breast on a rose thorn as it sings, and dies.

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Dolce Bellezza

Below average
Reviewed by Bellezza on Oct 21 2012

...we decided to reread it together this fall. And through the course of our emails we’ve discovered that we don’t feel exactly about it today as we did then, when we loved it...This time around, his ambivalence infuriated me; I saw him not as the tower of strength with which I first viewed him.

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Such A Book Nerd

Good
Reviewed by JamieP on Feb 28 2011

Meggie Cleary O’Neill is a wonderful leading character to follow through all these years, and her story – like every story happening around her – is fascinating. (Think of her as a less-bitchy and less-ambitious Scarlett O’Hara.)

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A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore...

Below average
on Dec 13 2010

McCullough’s descriptions of the places she writes about are beautiful. The story moves at a fast pace and it only took me a few days to finish; still, it’s not quite as good as I remember it being from the first time I read it. But people change!

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Reader Rating for The Thorn Birds
91%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 926 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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