True History of the Kelly Gang

  • by Peter Carey
  • Narrated by Gianfranco Negroponte
  • 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2001
Ned Kelly's name resonates in Australia the same way the name Jesse James does in America. Was he a crusading folk hero or murderous horse thief and bank robber? Who was the real Ned Kelly? As the impoverished son of an Irish convict, Kelly was cheated, lied to, and abused by the English. Committed to fighting back against oppression, Kelly and his gang of outlaws eluded police for nearly two years. Brilliantly novelized by Peter Carey, the story of the Kelly Gang unfolds from a series of 13 compassionate letters written, while on the run, by Kelly to his infant daughter. Building from this historical legend and testing our sympathies, Carey crafts a deeply humanistic piece of historical fiction, a tale of injustice and violence.


What the Critics Say

"No reader will be left unmoved by this dramatic tale....A novel that teems with energy, suspense and the true story of a memorable protagonist." (Publishers Weekly)
"Historical fiction doesn't get much better than this." (School Library Journal)
"Packed with incident, alive with comedy and pathos...contains pretty much everything you could ask of a novel." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gosh, was hoping for so much more

The Australian Jesse James and Abe Lincoln all rolled into one; perhaps those with more knowledge of the tale will enjoy this book; it is "historical fiction;" the known facts are all in there, but the rest (childhood, Ned Kelly's relationship with his mother, etc.), are made up. So it is sort of an interesting psychological profile of the man who dared to stand up to the English; and to take on the corruption which resulted from Australia's beginnings as an English penal colony. But in the end, you don't really know why he did it; even with all the psychological profiling. So, what was the point of all that?

The work is supposedly based on writings by Kelly, newly discovered. And, in fact, some of his writings were discovered in the late 1980's. Perhaps some judicious abridgement would help this book, but I struggled to finish it.

The narration is ok; but it is troubled by some repetition of the word "adjectival" . . . reminiscent of the use of "expletive deleted" in the Nixon tapes. Even if that is how they really talked back then, it was a bit much.
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- Jody R. Nathan

An 'adjectival' masterpiece of 'effing' prose.

I 'effing' love Peter Carey's prose. An 'adjectival' masterpiece of historical fiction and myth-making.
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-11-2004
  • Publisher: Recorded Books