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For the Term of His Natural Life (1871)

af Marcus Clarke

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7861221,481 (3.71)38
Many critics were indeed 'disgusted' by the horrors that Marcus Clarke revealed in His Natural Life. So powerful was his representation of the brutality of transportation that more than a century later historians still struggle to disentangle fact from Clarke's tragic fiction. The novel charts the misfortunes of Richard Devine, falsely accused of murder, through the worst Australian penal settlements, the notorious Macquarie Harbour, Port Arthur, and Norfolk Island, retaining his humanity and spiritual dignity through all the degradations that cruelty and inhumanity could devise. Clarke's novel is indeed a phantasmagoria of horrors - of murder, mutiny, flogging, child-suicide, homosexual rape, and cannibalism; yet it is also a powerful story of moral courage and heroic resistance to dehumanization. His Natural Life, usually published as For the Term of His Natural Life but here restored to the title Clarke gave it, is the grand epic of the transportation system, and has been described as the greatest nineteenth-century Australian novel.… (mere)
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» Se også 38 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
only the subject matter saves it from being a forgotten piece of moralistic Victoriana ( )
  ibazel | Aug 7, 2020 |
I was inspired to re-read this early Australian novel after a recent visit to Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour.
The incredible plot coincidences may have been common in that era, but they just seem odd to modern readers. I found the book started slowly, with the author struggling to get on top of the long-format writing. But it improved considerably during the book. I loved the skewering characterisation of the foppish vicar, Meekin; while the vivid description of Mr North's battle with the bottle seemed surely to be autobiographical. ( )
  mbmackay | Mar 21, 2019 |
This is a classic? How? How can this be considered a classic?

First of all. It's boooooooooooring. No, it's not because of the style of writing common back then, because I happen to usually really enjoy books written in the 19th century. Seriously, Dickens rules, and while I know one can't go around comparing everyone to Dickens because it will never end well for the other author, I do expect them to be able to write at least some dialogue that doesn't make me cringe and I certainly expect them to know the difference between "then" and "than".
What I don't look for is turgid monotonous narration interspersed with terrible dialogue that kills off the only likable character about a third of the way through the book.

Did I mention it's boring?

Still, this was a first for me. I hated it so much, that instead of procrastinating over finishing the book, I actually made myself read it quickly because I was desperate to replace it with something fun to "get the taste out of my mouth", so to speak.

I'm probably being overly harsh (I seem to have really started off this way this year! Normally I'm really nice, I promise! lol), but it really, really doesn't work for me. ( )
  Sammystarbuck | Jan 19, 2019 |
This classic Australian novel is based on a good deal of historical research. This particular version includes an appendix outlining the references for the historical information in each chapter. The story is rather gripping and although the coming together of the main characters at the climax is rather unlikely, it serves to render a sound plot. The conclusion wraps up a sad story with a paradisiacal ending that is satisfying if not happy. That Clarke died at age 35 serves as a reminder that such genius is routinely short-lived. Despite the numerous abridged versions and part-stories I have experienced of this novel in film and television, this is my first full reading and it was long overdue. ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Great read - nice to relate to the geography ( )
  DannyKeep | Jun 7, 2017 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Marcus Clarkeprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Elliott, BrianIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lofting, HilaryIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Meehan, MichaelIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Tulloch, GrahamRedaktørmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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In the breathless stillness of a tropical afternoon, when the air was hot and heavy, and the sky brazen and cloudless, the shadow of the Malabar lay solitary on the surface of the glittering sea.
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Many critics were indeed 'disgusted' by the horrors that Marcus Clarke revealed in His Natural Life. So powerful was his representation of the brutality of transportation that more than a century later historians still struggle to disentangle fact from Clarke's tragic fiction. The novel charts the misfortunes of Richard Devine, falsely accused of murder, through the worst Australian penal settlements, the notorious Macquarie Harbour, Port Arthur, and Norfolk Island, retaining his humanity and spiritual dignity through all the degradations that cruelty and inhumanity could devise. Clarke's novel is indeed a phantasmagoria of horrors - of murder, mutiny, flogging, child-suicide, homosexual rape, and cannibalism; yet it is also a powerful story of moral courage and heroic resistance to dehumanization. His Natural Life, usually published as For the Term of His Natural Life but here restored to the title Clarke gave it, is the grand epic of the transportation system, and has been described as the greatest nineteenth-century Australian novel.

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Udgaver: 0702231770, 0143202693

 

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