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True History of The Kelly Gang

by Peter Carey

True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey X
True History of The Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2001, 352 pages
    Nov 2001, 368 pages

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The superb imagery, and diction of Carey highlights the harsh nature of not only Kelly's life, and struggle, but the environment in which he lived.

For me, the most enthralling thing about this book is Kelly's evolving relation to the bush. The relationship between the bushranger and his landscape is one of the most fascinating in our history, and apart from all other reasons why this book should be lauded, this theme in particular has never before achieved such exact poetic expression. Read!

I really enjoyed this book. i put off reading it because it looked boring and i didnt enjoy the first few pages. we had to read it for year 11 english this year. once i actually got around to reading it i couldnt put it down. other than this book ive never like a carey book. well done
Beau Weight

History as truth? I think not.
From the most mundane to those elevated moments of achievement, we are constantly bedeviled by, `what is the truth.' Most of this is associated not with what actually happened, rather what we thought happened. Even in this modern age with huge opportunities for communication, there are times when the truth has become vastly corrupted, particularly with journalistic `spin'..So many times in my life I have discovered that certain things I held as factual were actually wrong.

Thus, Peter Carey, what gives you the divine right to endow your writings as `the truth' about the Kelly gang? This is simply presumptuous, albeit it grabs our attention - and that's what sells books.

One would have to be a bit of a simpleton to accept this documentation as even mildly authentic to Ned Kelly's so called 13 writings. Right, it might well be in a speaking style that Ned would have used - bit it's all so poetic - it's Carey reinventing himself as Ned Kelly.

Despite my reservations, I have found the whole process sufficiently interesting to look up the reviews.

I guess as Australia's greatest rebel, Ned Kelly and his gang deserve the final plaudits in this strange tale . In brief, its simply an imaginative and unorthodox recreation of a myth.

Getting past the title was possibly the hardest and most gripping moment about the novel. Careys choice to label his book the "true" history eminates the idea that this is the first and only proper account of Ned Kelly and the trials and tribulations of his gang. As an educated audience we know this isnt the truth on many accounts. Primarily however this is beause of Careys lack of authenticity due to

1 he wasnt there, and even is he was would he have recreated a bias account? was the uncovered letters of Ned infact also bias?

2 the format of letters once again brings bias, how can one tell the whole truth, from everyangle to one so small and dear (unborn child)?

This brings us to the point, what is a true history and how does one document the 'truth'???

you could hardly credit what you are hearing as you engage with a 'ooligan of the Australian bush. this is not a true history, of course, it's the voice of Carey himself, as he lunges us into multiple takes of the dispicable life of a murdering thug. It's as if we begin to adopt a new view, we somehow empathise with Ned and his amoral mother. they all say, it was the harshness of society that drove me to criminality, Ned included, and somehow you have to agree.

this is a magical read, saturated with myth and landscape.
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