The True History of the Kelly Gang – Review

In The True History of the Kelly Gang (Booker Prize winner 2001) award winning Peter Carey brings to us the story of Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger and outlaw. In prose both illiterate and beautiful Kelly tells us of his life of crime in Victoria, Australia through the eyes of a man about to hang leaving his legacy to a daughter he barely knows. “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,” writes Kelly.

In this book Carey rivals American author Cormac McCarthy (a personal favorite of mine who will most certainly make an appearance here) in the beauty of his prose and the wonder of the outlaw wilds of an untamed land. While both authors may be difficult to approach at first due to their unique writing style I guarantee that if you give The True History time you will be engrossed. When I read this in 2006 I finished it in a matter of days and immediately posted my recommendation on the shelf, featuring it in a display of award winning books of the previous 10 years.

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