Tom Keneally Watch #9

Reviews of The People's Train

peoples_train.jpg    Patrick Allington in "Australian Book Review": "...Keneally builds terrific momentum by drawing on extraordinary events: the Russian Revolution and the onset of World War I.  If the scaffolding of this novel is now and again exposed, that is something historical fiction can never fully overcome."

Francesca Beddie in "The Australian": "Fortunately, it is in Paddy's stories that Keneally rescues his novel from becoming an idealised account of socialist aspirations. We experience episodes of the arbitrary violence that punctuates the history of Russian communism. These depictions are sharp, surprising and brutal. They need to be there."

Mike Crowl in "The Otago Times": "The historical sequence approach of the novel means there's little real interplay between the characters; those who get involved with each other often slide out of view without a sense of loss to other people...And the large cast becomes a welter of names for the reader to contend with, even though a few are recognisable for their later part in history."

"Readings" website: "Based on a true story, THE PEOPLE'S TRAIN brings the past alive and makes it resonate in the present. With all the empathy and storytelling skills that he brought to bear in SCHINDLER'S ARK, Tom Keneally takes us to the heart of the Russian Revolution through the dramatic life of an unknown, inspiring figure."

"" website: "In The People's Train, Tom Keneally is able to effortlessly weave historical fact with fictional imaginings. His ability to capture these moments in time leave an indelible mark on the reader's consciousness. Whether it be the small town feel of sleepy Brisbane in 1911 or the passion and energy of the Russian Revolution, Tom is a master of conveying time and place. His characters are fully realised with their virtues and foibles on display. Once again the Booker Prize winning novelist, Tom Keneally has shown that he's one of Australia's leading writers."

Phil Shannon on the "Green Left Review": "... if the [promised] sequel has the historical integrity and thoughtfulness as The People's Train, it will be worth waiting for."


Re The People's Train: Keneally discusses the novel with Margaret Throsby on ABC Radio National's Classic FM; and Rosanna Greenstreet of "The Guardian"; and Des Houghton of "The Courier-Mail".


Keneally discusses The People's Train on a Random House video.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 13, 2009 10:44 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #181 - The Bamboo Flute by Garry Disher was the previous entry in this blog.

Reprint: A Letter to the Editor of The Argus by Nettie Palmer is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en