Customer Reviews for

English Passengers

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2001

    Step on Board

    For a rolicking ride on the high seas with men from the Isle of Man, and of course, the English passengers, who take them to the far away island of New Zealand, where the natives are under seige by the white man's disease and weapons. Witty, but spiked with horror. One of the best books of the decade, I don't know why it didn't win the Booker. Maybe it was too funny.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    English Passengers is a historical fiction book that tells the s

    English Passengers is a historical fiction book that tells the story of a ship’s journey to Tasmania. Matthew Kneale, the author, writes the story to be reflective of several various voices and backgrounds. He begins the story with a band of rum smugglers, who were caught by the British customs forcing them to put their ship up for charter. This opportunity allows the real adventure to take place, starting with an expedition set for Tasmania, hired by two individualistic Englishmen who set sail for two very contrasting motives. Kneale’s broad sense of enlightenment allows him to tell the story from such viewpoints like religious affiliated men, scientists, and common sailors. His proficiency with writing becomes crystal clear through speaking in so many different voices. I would recommend this book for people looking for something with occasional touches of humor and historically enlightening material. 
    -Sam Paek

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003


    One person of this novel is most interesting character a Tasmanian Aboriginal. But the other creatures from the wrriters fiction are in the plot of 20 persons interesting from different readers angle. Matthev Kneale have had wroten a book with sence for philosophical fine art about life. I have had enjoy from first to last sentence of this magister ( think excelent) book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2002

    Take a trip to 19th century Tasmania...if you dare!

    This may well be the best historical fiction I've ever read! A masterful portrayal of very different characters -- their voices, their visions of life -- I asked myself how one author could have created such fully realized people, and then I read the afterword last. Much of the history of Tasmania which is related in this 'novel' is based on real people and events. The story skillfully teeters along the thin edge of human comedy/tragedy so the reader is drawn to the brink of horror while laughing at the nearly insane antics of characters driven by their quests. The tantalizing afterword detailing the real people behind the characters drew me into further research about the early penal colony days in Tasmania. The book is full of evocative sensory detail that delivers the story's world vividly. Descriptions of men with scurvy, storms at sea, treks through the Tasmanian bush, and indigenous aboriginal life made me feel like I was on the trip myself. A truly literary and fascinating read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2001

    Humor for the Serious Reader

    This book had me from the first chapter. I loved it. Matthew Kneale brought over 40 different characters to life, each in their own narrative voice and the result is utter beauty. English Passengers is filled with adventure, with humor, and with deep pain. It is satire at its greatest and brings the ideas of racism and equality to the forefront of your mind without seeming pushy or overlydramatic. I did not know what to expect when I picked up this book, but am glad I did and reread certian passages multiple times. Thank you Matthew Kneale for such a book. I only hope their are plenty more to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2000

    A New 'Shogun'.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am attracted to entertaining adventure stories that additionally impart knowledge about a country and/or people. 'Shogun' was such a novel, and this one is of the same ilk, giving the reader insights into the history of the 'development' of Tasmania by the British. I particularly enjoyed the postscripts supplied by the author, wherein he discusses the historical facts upon which he based events and characters in the novel. I enthusiastically recommend this book to others who enjoy a good tale, well told.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

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    Posted July 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

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