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Matthew Kneale

Forfatter af Engelske passagerer

14+ Works 3,394 Members 113 Reviews 4 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Matthew Kneale lives in Oxford, England. (Bowker Author Biography)

Omfatter også følgende navne: MATHEW KNEALE, Matthew Kneale, Kneale Matthiew

Image credit: Photo © Frederic Reglain/Gamma

Værker af Matthew Kneale

Engelske passagerer (2000) 2,102 eksemplarer
When We Were Romans (2008) 424 eksemplarer
Rome: A History in Seven Sackings (2017) 276 eksemplarer
Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance (2005) 170 eksemplarer
Sweet Thames (1992) 166 eksemplarer
Pilgrims (2020) 76 eksemplarer
Whore Banquets (1987) 73 eksemplarer
Powder (2006) 8 eksemplarer
The Cameraman (2023) 5 eksemplarer
Inside Rose's Kingdom (1989) 2 eksemplarer
The Cameraman 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Cruise (1995) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden



In the late 13th century, a rag-tag bunch of pilgrims—each with their own goals and fears—sets out on the long journey from England to Rome. Matthew Kneale writes with verve and humour, and actually manages the feat of writing characters whose foibles and flaws come from their humanity rather than from the fact that they're stupid medieval people—sadly an approach all too rare in historical fiction. Whether Pilgrims works for you will likely depend on your sense of what's funny—if it doesn't click for you in the first few chapters, I wouldn't recommend continuing on because that's the main thing that keeps the book a somewhat propulsive read in spite of the fairly meandering plot—and your tolerance for people making poor decisions. But if you're in the mood for something gently Chaucerian, I think this might hit the spot. While I don't think any of the characters will remain with me for a long time, I did have fun while reading this.… (mere)
siriaeve | 2 andre anmeldelser | Aug 25, 2023 |
Thanks to Netgalley and Atlantic Books for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Rome Plague Diaries is a wonderful, personal reflection on what life is like living in Rome as the city went into lockdown in March 2020. Imagine from one day to the next being restricted to just a single postcode in Testaccio, restricted both in movement, habits and contacts with those around you. The author has an impressive knowledge and experience of what life is like living in Rome and discusses the many habits, quirks, subtleties and (sometimes flawed) cliches that outsiders have of life in and the inhabitants of the Eternal City as well as a multitude of delicious-sounding Italian recipes. They seem so simple, but probably the taste is also down to the superior ingredients which the author describes with gusto. The book ends in May 2020, but we know by now that the ravages of covid were at that time by no history, so this was just a temporary reprieve.

I try to visit Rome myself at least once every year, being completely in love with the city, and prefer to stay in Trastevere so Kneale's descriptions of his surroundings and experiences. sometimes witty, sometimes serious, are recognisable and highly relatable. I especially enjoyed the author's hypothetical wandering through the city, introducing well-known, but also lesser known sights of the city, which I'm sure to include in my itinerary next time I go. I also cherished his reflection on what it means to see the United Kingdom leave the (in many senses dysfunctional, but highly diverse) European Union, having lived outside of my place of birth for many years yourself. Having missed the opportunity of going to Rome this year, reading this book, I still feel I have been able to enjoy a virtual visit through the eyes of the author. Thank you so much.
… (mere)
Herculean_Librarian | Sep 10, 2022 |
This is an historical novel with multiple story lines beginning with the story of Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley, the leader of a crew of Manx smugglers. It is here that both the authenticity and complexity of the novel begins to display itself. Kewley is a lively character as are his fellow Manx shipmates. Apparently the Isle Of Man, according to historical sources, was home to Manx smugglers who wandered widely and that some were forcibly transported to the New World, where they endured the hospitality of Port Arthur prison in Tasmania. I enjoyed this part as it was very amusing when Kewley and crew try to offload their ill-gotten gains. But then their ship attracts the attention of Customs, and Kewley is forced to consider the indignity of taking on board paying passengers.
This is divine timing for the Reverend Geoffrey Wilson, who needs a ship to go to Tasmania to prove his theory of Divine Refrigeration. His discourse offers the rather surprising argument that the Garden of Eden is to be found within Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Wilson has been inspired by the writings of Darwinists, who believe that the Bible is not to be taken literally when it comes to the question of Genesis and the Origins of Species. Unfortunately, Wilson's sponsor is the infantile entrepreneur Jonah Childs whose notion of a good idea would be to use wallabies as pack animals. Childs further demonstrates his poor judgement when he chooses the odious Doctor Potter as botanist for the trip who also volunteers as ship's surgeon. It doesn't take long for Wilson and Potter to realise that they are natural enemies, and it seems that we could be in for a battle of the survival of the fittest, as each take turns to try to convert Kewley's crew. No matter how he tries, Kewley is unable to dump his passengers, so off into the New World they sail.
Another storyline retreats in time to the 1820s to detail the narration of Peevay, a Tasmanian Aborigine, who relates how the 'ghosts' take over the land of his people, and drive them to extinction. He is the product of a rape: his mother was snatched by a white sealer and imprisoned on his island. She escaped, but is forever haunted by the seething hatred she feels for the man who did that to her. When his mother rejects him due to his mixed blood, Peevay yearns for his father. One might think that a novel full of individual narrators would be difficult to navigate, but Kneale handles this well with vivid and vital characters who are engaging for the reader, even when they are as unlikeable as Potter is. I found Kneale's narrative always quite stimulating as did the rest of our Thursday evening book group. He artfully brings all of these narratives to life in a masterful display of black comedy.
… (mere)
jwhenderson | 38 andre anmeldelser | Sep 4, 2022 |
History as a story, a story of a city with a famous past that has in many senses been preserved. Matthew Kneale, who is an accomplished novelist, elicits this past through the story of seven moments when the city was under siege and sacked. The result is a view of history that is unique in my experience and one that does justice to the city itself.
jwhenderson | 4 andre anmeldelser | Sep 4, 2022 |



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