True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

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Synopsis

“I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false.”

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 horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.



From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Peter Carey

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PETER CAREY is the author of eleven previous novels and has twice received the Booker Prize. His other honors include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Born in Australia, he has lived in New York City for twenty years.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 386 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Self Help. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for True History of the Kelly Gang

Kirkus Reviews

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The story opens with an account of the Kelly gang’s capture by police on June 28, 1880, so we know this tale will end badly for the most famous of the “bushrangers,” who expressed the rage felt by many poor Australians, especially those who were, like Kelly, descended from Irish convicts, against...

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Publishers Weekly

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Every Australian grows up hearing the legend of outlaw Ned Kelly, whose exploits are memorialized in the old Melbourne Gaol, where he and his comrades were imprisoned before their execution in 1880. C

Jan 01 2001 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

The Guardian

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True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey 349pp, Faber, £16.99 Buy it at BOL Pushed centre stage with neither a definite nor an indefinite article for moral or theatrical support, True History of the Kelly Gang signals the first of its many deceits.

Jan 06 2001 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

The Guardian

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True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey Faber £17.99, pp349 Buy it at BOL At first sight, Ned Kelly is an odd choice as subject for Peter Carey's seventh novel.

Jan 07 2001 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

Publishers Weekly

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Every Australian grows up hearing the legend of outlaw Ned Kelly, whose exploits are memorialized in the old Melbourne Gaol, where he and his comrades were imprisoned before their execution in 1880.

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BC Books

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Ned Kelly -- outlaw, folk hero, bloodthirsty killer, persecuted scapegoat. The Robin Hood of Austral...Ned Kelly, Aussie outlaw, draws guns and attention--not hard when one of his men shows up for raids and robberies in a dress.

Jan 09 2006 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

BC Books

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The latter designation, applied by one of Kelly's detractors in reference to his armor-clad last stand, pales in comparison to the more dramatic appellations, including the more hyperbolic assessments that go far beyond the pale, and the pail: "Ned Kelly," declares one of his apologists, "became ...

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AV Club

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In America, Ned Kelly needs an introduction that Australian readers would never require: Kelly plays much the same role in that country's national...

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

AV Club

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In America, Ned Kelly needs an introduction that Australian readers would never require: Kelly plays much the same role in that country's national conscious that Jesse James has played here.

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

Entertainment Weekly

Neither is the latest work from the best living Australian novelist — a fictional portrait of Ned Kelly, a kind of Down Under Jesse James, it's written in a run-on, furtively lyrical Irish-Australian patois: ''I pursued him outside the sky were dusk white above the black umbrellas of the gum...

Feb 09 2001 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

BookPage

History, in Carey's hands, has no fixed boundaries.True History of the Kelly Gang, his splendid new novel, finds the author tinkering again with his country's past as he explores the life of 19th-century outlaw Ned Kelly, a Robin Hood of sorts who has been lionized by Australian nationalists.

Dec 27 2014 | Read Full Review of True History of the Kelly Gang

The Millions

With the awarding of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the 2011/2012 literary award season is now over, which gives us the opportunity to update our list of prizewinners.

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