History of the Kelly Gang by Peter
Published by Faber
and Faber, 2000
novel tells the life story of one of Australia's most notorious
criminals, Ned Kelly. It is set in late nineteenth century and takes
the form of a journal as written by Ned Kelly for the daughter he
has never seen. It is a sympathetic account from his poverty stricken
early childhood, and the harsh injustices of his youth, right through
to his final days. He shares a strong bond with his mother, who
always seems to be on the wrong side of the law. His father died
when Ned was only twelve and there is a sense of inevitability as
he becomes first a horse thief, then a bank robber and later a police
killer. His memory lives on as Australia's answer to Robin Hood.
is a well-researched and well written book. The style of writing
is unusual in that there are no punctuation marks - this may be
slightly disconcerting initially but coupled with the colloquial
language, it adds atmosphere to the book. It is a convincing read
with interesting sub-plots. It also provides an interesting perspective
on Irish immigrants in Australia at that time. Worth reading.
by Ennis Book Club.