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helenliz

helenliz

English Passengers: A Novel

English Passengers - Matthew Kneale This is such fun! Narrated by the various characters that appear, there are a number of strands of story - a smuggling expedition gone wrong, a mad voyage to discover the Garden of Eden, an anthropological travesty of research, the convict system in Tasmania and the fate of the Tasmania aborigines. These various strands all come to a knot in Tasmania in the 1850, when the expedition lands. Some of the characters are lovely, some plain potty and some really very unpleasant - but all are products of their time and place. the views of the doctor are unacceptable to the modern ear, but that doesn't mean they were not expressed and taken to be true at the time. Some of those featured come out of this quite well. Renshaw ceases to be dissolute and finds a purpose in life, Captain Quewley doesn't get hanged for smuggling (which is a bit of a result really) and Peevay finds lands and a tribe to call his own. The others get (to differing degrees) their just deserts. Listened to on audiobook where there were a number of different actors reading the different parts just made this a more enjoyable listen. It really worked well. Great fun.