True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

True History of the Kelly Gang

It took me three weeks to read this book. Three long weeks, and I read most it in the final three days when my deadline was coming up to it.

True History of the Kelly Gang tells the story of Ned Kelly, the notorious Australian outlaw, and his ‘gang’. Told in the voice of Ned Kelly, it chronicles his life from 3 years of age until his death. Carey ‘wildly and passionately’ brings this bushranger to life.

Let me get one thing straight. This book uses two pieces of punctuation: full stops and capital letters. Aside from in articles that have been ‘stuck in’, when they use commas.

Reading this book was like breathing in a small, dusty cupboard with no lights. I felt kinda like Harry Potter to be honest. Imagine taking a huge breath, then reading as much as you can without pausing. When you’re reading, you’re mainly breathing normally, but it still feels quite claustrophobic. That was something I really didn’t like about the book.

However, the actually book had good content, was engaging and the descriptions are incredibly vivid.

I don’t know much about Ned Kelly. I’ve heard of him of course, I knew he was Australian, but that was about it. Think Ned Kelly’s a bad guy? Believe this book and you’ll think again.

Told in 13 ‘parcels’ (which are basically just really big chapters), it’s not very easy to read one ‘parcel’ a night. The best way to read this book is in short, sharp blasts – but don’t leave too many gaps between each one, or you’ll be reading forever.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the Kelly gang (duh), history or just action. It is a good read; but I wish it could have been shorter. And if you’re even more curious about the Kelly gang after reading, check the acknowledgements section: it lists some great books.


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