English Passengers: A Novel [Matthew Kneale] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In when Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his. Steven Poole is bowled over by the panache of a Matthew Kneale’s novel, English Passengers, with its 21 narrators. Instead of getting meat cooking on the fire, which was my great desire, I got a war . I never saw one before, no, but I heard stories from Tartoyen.

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Kneale cites several examples of insidious racial theories that started in the s and continued to flourish in the twentieth century [p. Class, science, religion, nationalism, colonialism paternalism, exploitationevangelism, culture clashes, racial identity and tension, crime and punishment jneale, reformmurder, revenge, and genocide are the main themes.

It is hardly true, as Kneale writes, that before the quasi-scientific racism of men such as Potter there had been “little or no attempt” to justify colonialism intellectually – it was very often justified on proselytising religious grounds, as the story itself has shown. Ghosts came to their land, they told, plenty of them, and with ghost animals too, that were small and stupid and coloured like snow.

Crafted with precision and a deft eye for plot English Passengers mattyew a challenging read that is quite an undertaking; this book is no page-turner, and I found myself struggling through some of the duller sections. So in that sense, the author keeps some of the ropes of his cat’s cradle separate, and I imagine that if he altered one, he must have had to alter them all. Return to Book Page. Of great fight between faith and science. The book is crawling with hypocrites, including the three, very different, main characters.

Roingin were famous for being many but now they were fewer than mine. Add engliwh ferocious black sense of humour and a ring of truth part of the Tasmanian chapters is based on true events passngers you have a magnificent book, at turns thought-provoking and funny.

English Passengers Reader’s Guide

Later Roingin killed some back, but now ghosts were too many, always more, and when ghosts came amtthew hunt them, Roingin decided they must leave their own land or all get killed. The colonists paid little attention to silly kid dreams of oranges and horses.

Third, and most importantly, the aboriginals themselves are given only one voice, and also one so artificial that an author’s note at the start of the book tries to apologize and back you into the aboriginal’s version of English, but nothing can forgive englush a tin ear.


Stay in Touch Sign up. Truly, I never heard anything like it ever before. Well, given the right day I can be swift enough on my feet.

English Passengers – Wikipedia

Then there were the Reverend’s children – a great stringy pack of them – and his wife and her sister too, who were a proper pair of wallopers, smiling away as if they couldn’t wait for the old sleetch to knneale gone. The Garden of Eden! C An immensely satisfying read and a literary adventure! Rev Wilson is the worst, though he is an easy target.

Meanwhile a local boat from the Isle of Man with a whole crew of quirky characters, is suspected of smuggling and held in a prison dock in London – so the vicar’s benefactor pays magthew boat’s fine and prevents the crew going to prison if matthrw agree to go to Tasmania.

Meanwhile, the aboriginal population of Van Diemen’s Land is being hunted to extinction by the white settlers. Her eyes, which were gleeful before, turned cold like winter sea. Pride is a deadly sin and what can be a better disguise for pride than to hide it behind humility and piety.

Or how about that bright sunny morning when he’s just turned six and sees soldiers striding down the street, fierce and jangling?

Truly, you never met a body so rich in his own importance, and watching him smirk and chew at his dinner it was hard not to think what a surprise he’d give to the fishes if he accidentally got dropped over the side.

English Passengers

I love the variety of methods used to tell the tale, the wit, unique characters all interwoven in the history of Tasmania. The format allows him to switch perspectives and even time periods, keeping the reader involved and interested in how the characters perceive shared events.

Recommended to Judy by: At the front was a woman with a face that was hard like stone, and in her hand she held a strange stick, that was long as a spear but thick like some waddy, with a thin end, all beautiful and shining. Eventually the two storylines intersect, setting the stage for war, mutiny and shipwreck and a very satisfying finale passengesr had me grinning for hours.

This novel is Dickensian in paassengers scope of characters and is a masterful feat of the interweaving of satire with a tragic yet deftly handled historical portrait of the genocide of the aborigines of Tasmania. My guess is that at the end of the year, English Passengers will be one of my favorite reads.


Sometimes I hardly knew if that one was joking. I thought I was going to drown in so many male voices almost exclusivelybut I stayed engaged and afloat, which is more than one can say for Captain Kewley’s ship, the ‘Sincerity.

Their warrior made another grievous engpish, waving his spear and so, and when his others never came, again he went away, walking backwards so he could watch my ones still. He was mean as could be, too.

Sparrow Kewley ‘s storyline should provide some comic relief in between the heavy stuff, but it just ends up being off putting and makes me want to skip about half the book. Accompanying him is Timothy Renshaw, a botanist, and Dr. Full of intelligence, wit and feeling, which are so rare to find together, English Passengers is an undiscovered gem which I am so glad to have found and will happily return to again in the future. Read it Forward Read it first. One day, ghosts came suddenly with sticks with thunder noise, and killed everyone they could.

The plotting here is excellent, too, as Kneale passengets up several storylines that are each intriguing in their own knrale and meet up ingeniously for a satisfying ending. Nor were they the only ones playing huffy, as Brew and Kinvig were in a proper scowl at being slung into the fo’c’sle with the boys. Renshaw, the little plants boy, did hardly better, as his brother and father looked cheery as tombstones, while his mother was too far the other way, sobbing and fussing and pulling out a little present that she pretended she’d forgot, “for those cold nights in englosh mountains,” though this turned out to be a dainty pair of gloves just right for supping tea with the Queen.

Instead, Kneale mattgew to want to write both a long essay on the crimes of British colonialism in Tasmania and Australia as well as write his own version of Jack Engglish and somehow make those mesh.

Very unusual, brilliant book.