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11 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail, but had to be said.
This is a really well researched book. (Amazon should make sure it pays its taxes in UK). The detail is incredible and makes you feel you really understand what things were like in the 1780s. The plight of the aborigines is dealt with, and the deeds of the key characters are insightfully described without too many assumptions. It's a long read with much detail, but a...
Published 18 months ago by N. Lake

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars book club purchase hard work
I was expecting a literary representation of the experience of individuals being sent to Australia but this read more like a very well researched but rather dry text book. We were reading it for our book club and most participants didn't finish it but appreciated that it was extremely well researched and an accurate portrayal.
Published 5 months ago by RuthD


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too much detail, but had to be said., 22 Dec 2012
By 
N. Lake (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
This is a really well researched book. (Amazon should make sure it pays its taxes in UK). The detail is incredible and makes you feel you really understand what things were like in the 1780s. The plight of the aborigines is dealt with, and the deeds of the key characters are insightfully described without too many assumptions. It's a long read with much detail, but a super introduction to the first years of the British colonization.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Founding of Australia - just a great read!, 23 May 2010
By 
Pamela Tunney (Luxembourg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
Tom Keneally is arguably one of Australia's greatest writers. The depth of research in this book makes it all the more fascinating, readable and credible. Not having studied any Australian history since my schoolgirl experiences, I looked forward to this book to provide me with insights into the earliest interactions with indigenous Australians and expand my knowledge and understanding of the difficulties and achievements, the mentality and huge mistakes during those founding years of white settlement. I was not disappointed. It is not a dry history text by any means - this book is closer to an oral history written down - human, empathetic, amusing and insightful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
This is indeed an interesting book and for the most part I enjoyed it. I didn't find it a particularly easy read, however. With the enormous cast of characters hard to keep track of and the author's sometimes convoluted grammar necessitating the rereading of numerous sentences. It would also benefit from some maps.

The time period that the book covers is quite narrow and it has left me wanting to find out what happened next. One book leads to another, c'est la vie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars book club purchase hard work, 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
I was expecting a literary representation of the experience of individuals being sent to Australia but this read more like a very well researched but rather dry text book. We were reading it for our book club and most participants didn't finish it but appreciated that it was extremely well researched and an accurate portrayal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of the founding of Australia., 16 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
This was a gift for my Husband who enjoyed it very much, very easy to read, interesting and very informative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 1 Sep 2013
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P. Dunmore "martha" (Somerset UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
So well researched and interesting. Makes me want to read more of Keneally's work. It was a huge pleasure to read. Highly recommend this to others who are interested in the founding of Australia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Commonwealth of Thieves, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
Just finished reading it, extremely interesting and informative of life in Australia in the late 18th century for miscreants from Great.Britain in what today we would call petty crime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Founding of Australia., 2 Jan 2013
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H. White (atherton,manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
This gripping read is unput downable .,giving a readable account of its first four years.written by Thomas Keneally of Schindlers list you know you are in for a good read which does not bog you down with facts and figures
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, insightful and well written, 21 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
The Commonwealth of Thieves is an excellent history book written in the style of a novel. I selected this book to get some historical context in advance of my own trip to Australia and was pulled into the book as if it were a novel, even though the content feels more like a very well researched text book.

The characters are well researched and developed throughout the book, and their stories are a detailed look at the origins of Australia's white population.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative book, 26 Nov 2012
By 
JJ (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (Paperback)
Excellent and very readable. account of the first convoy of ships from England sent out to settle in what is now known as Australia. Received promptly and in very good condition. Thank you.
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