This is an imagined portrayal of the dreams, motivations, and feelings of Ned Kelly from the perspective of Ned Kelly himself. It takes place at the Genrowan siege where Ned Kelly is captured.
The author imagines what’s going on inside the mind of Ned Kelly, and yes it is a “vivid, intensely intimate novel” Newtown Review of Books. The story includes some bizarre occurrences, like the theft of a circus to entertain the hostages at Glenrowan, and this adds to the dream-like quality of the story. The best part for me was the way the author portrays Kelly’s inner feelings when he realises Glenrowan siege is not going to plan.
“Robbing the first bank is like the silkiest good dream. Hovering above myself, watching me do it, hearing this half- stranger’s sharp voice ring out. Me but not me inside, here and there but not entirely here or there. There I am pointing the bloody gun and giving the orders. Here I am looking into the worst fears realised in those clerkish eyes. There I aim – hello! – suddenly the man in charge of Death and Money.”
Author: Robert Drewe
Awards: 1992 Banjo Award for Fiction;
1992 Shortlisted Miles Franklin Award
Adaptation: 2003 film Ned Kelly, directed by Gregor Jordan and starring Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts.