this, apparently, is the book that the film 'ned kelly' was based on. as is often the case though, i didn't notice too many similarities other than the fact that both were about ned kelly.
i picked this up as a quick read - a book that anna got at an op shop i think. it turned out to be quite good. the narrative style is almost a stream-of-consciousness approach - it has a poetic quality to it.
i think there is a connection here between the bush balladry of the likes of banjo patterson ('the man from snowy river' etc) - not that it reads like a ballad, but there is a connection in the atmosphere and feeling. perhaps this connection is merely a result of the australian setting, but either way, i think this is a very australian book.
the book presents the thoughts of ned kelly himself in a way that is almost dream-like and the narrative unfolds through recollections. despite the methodology, the narrative becomes coherent, and i think that this is the true skill of robert drewe in writing this book.
the main setting and climax of the book is the final showdown between the kelly gang and the police, and this climax is where the dream-like quality of the book comes to the fore.
drewe has used a lot of imaginative license with the story, but notes at the end of the book that this is fitting for a main character who is mostly known through legend.
good book, worth reading.
warandpeace-o-meter: 437/981 (volII, bookVIII, chapI)