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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He does so alternating two distinct narratives following their own projectory before allowing them to converge ariving at a denouement which is sublime in how it metes out a fate which each character deserves.

Jun 13, Matthew Quann rated it really liked it. Never you mind, I told them in Manx, it’s only till we get to Maldon. Ours was Gonar, while Roingin’s was a short one with killing eyes.

English Passengers focuses on the evils of colonialism and particularly on the racism that “legitimized” it. I think they were there before, yes, and I never noticed because of the fighting.

Another neat thing is that a lot of the story takes place on a ship and Illiam Quillian Kewley describes his ship so well that I could hear the wind in her sails as she ploughed her way across the globe.

In fact, I found it similar, in a way, to the great Czech novel, The Good Soldier Schweik, in that I simply didn’t want it to end; I just wanted to keep following adventures.

English Passengers – Wikipedia

Why not the moment he first takes the schilling, his mouth hanging wide open like a harvest frog as he listens to the sergeant’s flatterings? There are some neat things about this book too but some others that are over obvious and definitely not specially interesting and thou The last book I read in becomes the first I review in We also get to see how he manages to vary the five principal narrative voices though he has to resort to some odd styles in the process: Nothing wrong with that, it just was sort mathhew jarring and not what I thought I had signed up for.


It began with the first line: The colonists paid little attention to silly kid dreams of oranges and horses. As if matfhew couldn’t just be left in the Bible where it belonged. English Passengers is a superbly modulated composition in multiple voices: He includes a glossary of Manx terms, though I never needed to refer to it, because context made the meanings clear.

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The book is crawling with hypocrites, including the three, very different, main characters. Here is a sad story of Tasmania and its last call for independance. They saw children as particularly attractive immigrants; they thought passnegers them as able to accomodate to new conditions much more easily than adults.

This insight is delivered by the one voice given to the aboriginals, as he is describing how he must teach jneale other half-breed breathren the white man ways. So the eccentric mission of these Englishmen – the Reverend, his botanist and morbid surgeon Dr Potter – is perfectly timed.

Aside from the glaring lack of unadorned aboriginal voices describing aboriginal traditions and insights, the book’s casual racism lies in making mwtthew white man’s rape of aboriginal women sound ultimately valuable.

English Passengers

Recommended to Smokinjbc by: She never saw me till I was close. One day when Roingin were looking for seal to hunt, ghosts came suddenly with sticks with thunder noise, and killed everyone they could, half all Roingin, children and everyone, and threw them into the sea.

English Passengers is one of the best novels I have ever read. Before I quarter this book magthew keep the horses warm, a word about the author. There are at least three problems with this. That sounds unkind, but it actually reflects that this is a Knezle book, if also a bit long. Inafter their passengerd to smuggle contraband goods land them with a heavy fine from the British CustomsCaptain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his crew of Manx sailors are forced to offer their ship for charter.


English Passengers is his American debut. Mwtthew novel about an ill-fated expedition to search for the Garden of Eden in Tasmania takes the voice of many narrators, some contributing only a single chapter and a core handful returning several times.

Given an almost foolproof framework, Kneale didn’t spend the slightest amount of time studying Victorian geology, theology, Darwinism, racial theories, aboriginals, etc. Some are amusing, like Captain Kewley who justifies smuggling as altruistic capitalism, but kneape, especially Rev Wilson, have few redeeming features, while Peevay’s personal history means he starts off in credit with the reader and for most, probably remains so.

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Every page fizzes with linguistic pwssengers, and the interleaving of high comedy with dramatic terror is expertly handled. Child miners in Australia in the ‘s. A grim but hilarious historical novel involving the extinction of the Tasmanians [and] a search for the Garden of Eden.??

While most of the settlers’ voices make cameo appearances, the most constant character here is the tragic Peevay, unloved son of an intelligent, viciously angry aboriginal matrhew and a rapist father. Lots of glowing reviews from Goodreads friends got me excited to read English Passengers, and it didn’t disappoint. This is one of the few books that I have given up on reading.

So everybody got ready to fight. Bankrolled by a shadowy financier, he decides to hunt out Eden himself so as to refute the impious falsehoods of the geologists.