English Passengers - Matthew Kneale
This novel tells two parallel stories: one of three eccentric Englishmen who set sail for Tasmania to find the garden of Eden; the other of a young Ta...
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Review of "English Passengers - Matthew Kneale"
Hi, I am the Ciaoer formerly known as 'PJE' (Ciao added a flattened penis to the end of my username against my wishes.) These days I live on goodreads where I am user no. 949843 - feel free to say hello over there, or on Twitter (phillipjedwards).
I don't normally read historical novels (just the word historical sends me to sleep) so I started this book not expecting to finish it, but a couple of chapters in I was hooked.Set in the mid-1800s and narrated by umpteen different characters (and different they certainly are) the story is mainly carried by three groups:-
(1) A Manx sea-captain - Illiam Quillian Kewley - and his crew, a loveable rogue intent on a bit of smuggling, who gets sidetracked by circumstances (such as the need to shake off zealous English customs officials) and ends up fleeing to the other side of the world having been chartered by...
(2) Reverend Geoffrey Wilson an English vicar determined to prove Darwin wrong by discovering the Garden of Eden - which he has calculated can only be located in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and this is the novel's destination. There we we see through the eyes of a young aboriginal boy
(3) Peevay - the appallingly cruel behaviour of the British colonialists.
This book is terrific entertainment, an adventure novel which also, by describing events from different peoples' perspectives, shows how subjective history is. I suspect it might be more of a 'boys book' though.Apparently it took Matthew Kneale seven years to research and write this book and it shows - congratulations to him on winning the Whitbread Prize.
Product Information : English Passengers - Matthew Kneale
Manufacturer's product descriptionThis novel tells two parallel stories: one of three eccentric Englishmen who set sail for Tasmania to find the garden of Eden; the other of a young Tasmanian aborigine and his tribe, struggling against the invading British, who prove as lethal in their good intentions as in their cruelty. See all Product Description
Author: Matthew Kneale
Title: English Passengers
Genre: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 0140285210; 0141003596; 0241140684; 0241141079; 0385259492; 0385259743; 0385497431; 038549744X; 0385658664
Listed on Ciao since: 24/01/2001