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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.
©2000 Peter Carey (P)2001 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

"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
5 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 02-11-08

Brilliant and Poetic

The True History of the Kelly Gang is, hands down, the best recorded book I have ever heard. Peter Carey is truly a gifted writer whose ear for 19th Century Australian Irish "selector" dialogue is amazing. The reader, Giancarlo Negroponte, is a masterful and talented voice actor. I knew nothing about Ned Kelly before listening to this book and have been inspired to learn more about Australia's national hero. I did not want this book to end and can still hear Ned Kelly's voice in my head. Carey's literary, fictionalized version of the Kelly Gang's story achieves something truly remarkable. It conveys, in the way that only exceptional poetry and prose can, the essence of how the heritage of transportation formed the unique Australian identity and of how Ned Kelly in particular embodied the belief that something good could come of convicts.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Denis on 08-16-07

Great book, Great narrator

The book is lively, amusing and interesting. The narrator is the best I've heard. His reading captures the book's diverse characters in a clear and distinctive manner without seeming actorish.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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