Only Killers and Thieves

Only Killers and Thieves

A Novel

eBook - 2018
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HARPERCOLL

Two brothers are exposed to the brutal realities of life and the seductive cruelty of power in this riveting debut novel—a story of savagery and race, injustice and honor, set in the untamed frontier of 1880s Australia—reminiscent of Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

An epic tale of revenge and survival, Only Killers and Thieves is a gripping and utterly transporting debut, bringing to vivid life a colonial Australia that bears a striking resemblance to the American Wild West in its formative years.

It is 1885, and a crippling drought threatens to ruin the McBride family. Their land is parched, their cattle starving. When the rain finally comes, it is a miracle that renews their hope for survival. But returning home from an afternoon swimming at a remote waterhole filled by the downpour, fourteen-year-old Tommy and sixteen-year-old Billy meet with a shocking tragedy.

Thirsting for vengeance against the man they believe has wronged them—their former Aboriginal stockman—the distraught brothers turn to the ruthless and cunning John Sullivan, the wealthiest landowner in the region and their father’s former employer. Sullivan gathers a posse led by the dangerous and fascinating Inspector Edmund Noone and his Queensland Native Police, an infamous arm of British colonial power charged with the "dispersal" of indigenous Australians to "protect" white settler rights. As they ride across the barren outback in pursuit, their harsh and horrifying journey will have a devastating impact on Tommy, tormenting him for the rest of his life—and will hold enduring consequences for a young country struggling to come into its own.

Recreating a period of Australian and British history as evocative and violent as the American frontier era, Only Killers and Thieves is an unforgettable story of family, guilt, empire, race, manhood, and faith that combines the insightfulness of Philipp Meyer’s The Son, the atmospheric beauty of Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist, and the raw storytelling power of Ian McGuire’s The North Water.



Publisher: [S.l.] : HarperCollins, 2018
ISBN: 9780062690999
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: 3M Cloud Library

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inthestacks Aug 03, 2018

A harrowing depiction of the brutality inflicted upon Australia’s Aborigines by colonizing expansionist forces in the outback of 1885. Brothers Billy and Tommy McBride are coerced into joining a posse to avenge the death of their parents after they are murdered on their failing, drought-ridden farm. The violence is disturbing, but the story is powerfully rendered and the moral dilemmas raised stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

DPLalyssab Mar 13, 2018

An Australian western set in 1885 with vivid description of the landscape and brutal frontier life.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Feb 15, 2018

A Wild West type story but set in 1885 Australia. Two teenage brothers with opposite personalities end up traveling across the outback with a dangerous posse on a quest to "disperse" the indigenous Australians. The older brother fits in with the posse and their rough ways. Tommy, the younger, more sensitive brother goes along against his will and his life is forever changed by the experience. The story centers around the conflict of what others want Tommy to believe about the cruelty he witnesses versus his own personal beliefs. Well written with characters you love and characters you hate. Very descriptive portrayal of the violent time and the harsh landscape. Good debut by this author.

Nicr Dec 19, 2017

"There is always a reckoning."

1885. Fourteen-year-old Tommy is coerced by his older brother Billy into a lie that will take him on a hellish journey to manhood led by the sinister, knowing Noone of the Native Police--"the stranger [standing] at Satan's side." Beautifully written Australian western of frontier vengeance and racism.

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