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English Passengers Inwhen Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of rum smugglers from the Isle of Man have most of their contraband confiscated by British Customs, they are forced to put their ship up for charter The only takers are two eccentric Englishmen who want to embark for the other side of the globe The Reverend Geoffrey Wilson believes the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania His traveling partner, Dr Thomas Potter, unbeknownst to Wilson, is developing a sinister thesis about the races of men Meanwhile, an aboriginal in Tasmania named Peevay recounts his people s struggles against the invading British, a story that begins in , moves into the present with approach of the English passengers in , and extends into the future inThese characters and many others come together in a storm of voices that vividly bring a past age to life


About the Author: Matthew Kneale

Matthew Kneale was born in London in 1960, read Modern History at Oxford University and on graduating in 1982, spent a year teaching English in Japan, where he began writing short stories Kneale is the son of writers Nigel Kneale and Judith Kerr, and the grandson of essayist and theatre critic Alfred Kerr.



10 thoughts on “English Passengers

  1. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    The narration of English Passengers is situated on two different planes The first is the high farce of the seafaring expedition in search of Eden Out through the door I went and behind me I heard what wasn t any kind of word at all, but a kind of well spoken howl Well, given the right day I can be swift enough on my feet Down t


  2. Helle Helle says:

    An immensely satisfying read and a literary adventure That s what this book was It began with the first line Say a man catches a bullet through his skull in somebody s war, so where s the beginning of that How can you not be pulled into a story that begins thus On top of that, the man behind this first line bears the auspicious name of


  3. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    The last book I read in 2016 becomes the first I review in 2017 That sounds neat but it also sounds over obvious and not especially interesting what else should I review first, you might ask actually I reviewed little of what I read in November and December, and I ve already read three books in January so in that sense it is not as obvious as it


  4. mark monday mark monday says:

    Kinda hard to enjoy a farcical tragicomedy when it features an actual genocide Tone deaf much Not a bad book by any means and the author clearly had good intentions The sort of good intentions that many bougie white intellectuals have when deconstructing race, personal tragedy, and large scale atrocity Too bad he didn t understand that playfulness is som


  5. Maciek Maciek says:

    Say a man catches a bullet through his skull in somebody s war, so where s the beginning of that This perfectly fine question is posed by captain Illiam Quillian Kewley at the beginning of English Passengers The year is 1857, and Kewley and his crew of Manx sailors only wished to transport some duty free liquor from the Isle of Man strategically located right in


  6. Steve Steve says:

    Kneale s book tries and largely succeeds in being multiple things First of all, it s good historical fiction the kind where the education comes sans textbook aridity Much of the story is set in Tasmania in the 1800s where the native Aborigines were underfoot and too many British imperialists were wearing heavy boots A character named Peevay is one of the principal narrato


  7. Cecily Cecily says:

    An excellently quirky, educational, thought provoking, and often humourous book that avoids being confusing despite multiple narrators or off putting when describing theshocking aspects of the near extinction of Aborigines in Tasmania and the views of white supremacists Even the potentially awkward mix of socio political themes and jolly japes works.PLOT Not sayingthan is on the b


  8. Martine Martine says:

    English Passengers is one of the best novels I have ever read A story told by multiple narrators, it initially focuses on a Manx smuggling vessel which sets off for England only to get chartered to set sail to Van Diemen s Land Tasmania because some crazy reverend is convinced that Van Diemen s Land is the site of the Garden of Eden Among the ship s many larger than life passengers are th


  9. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    This is one of the few books that I have given up on reading I had a strong sense of wrongness from many of the point of view POV characters and quickly began to skim read before skimming off the book all together.By wrongness I mean that the POVs seemed to me to strike false notes they didn t seem fictional enough to me All novels are constructed things Fiction is the deliberate choice of unreal e


  10. Penny Penny says:

    This is a wonderfully original book A mix of history, intrigue and human suffering this is a unique book with an accessible story that is nevertheless literary.We follow several threads of this story first a vicar who is obsessed with finding the Garden of Eden in Tasmania He finds a rich benefactor who funds an expedition to find the garden Added to the expedition are a doctor with extreme racial views con


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