The Roving Party

The Roving Party

eBook - 2014
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"[An] exceedingly powerful debut. Wilson's compelling story carries us through forest and over plains, leaving a trail of dead men." --Alan Cheuse, The Chicago Tribune1829, Tasmania. A group of men--convicts, a farmer, two free black traders, and Black Bill, an aboriginal man brought up from childhood as a white man--are led by Jon Batman, a notorious historical figure, on a "roving party." Their purpose is massacre. With promises of freedom, land grants and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize. Passing over many miles of tortured country, the roving party searches for Aborigines, taking few prisoners and killing freely, Batman never abandoning the visceral intensity of his hunt. And all the while, Black Bill pursues his personal quarry, the much-feared warrior, Manalargena. A surprisingly beautiful evocation of horror and brutality, The Roving Party is a meditation on the intricacies of human nature at its most raw.From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: 2014.
ISBN: 9781616953126
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Jan 17, 2016

I found this to be a very absorbing and powerful novel, because the three main characters, and descriptions of the Van Diemonds Land landscape are written in such spare but beautiful prose. Readers who have some knowledge of the period set during the Black Wars will recognize the historical figure of John Batman (who later founded Melbourne), and tribal chief Manalargena. Interestingly, the author writes in a piece on The Conversation website that main character Black Bill is also based on a real person, William Ponsonby, an Indigenous man raised in a white family. The result is a gripping tale, whose frontier violence, though not gratuitous, does not make for a relaxing read. Highly recommended.

Jun 29, 2015

A fascinating portrayal of a remote land in a more primitive time. A life almost unimaginable by today's standards. This read was an experience to remember.

Oct 04, 2014

Maybe the book is better than the audio, which I found nearly impossible to understand. I can understand most Aussie-like accents, but not this one. I gave up out of lack of interest also.

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