Reader reviews for The Thorn Birds

Simply the best tragic love story there is, with the possible exception of Romeo and Juliet. I re-read this one every few years or when I need a soul-cleansing cry. Meggie...
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Great book. It revolves around a single family for about fifty years. A young girl falls in love with a priest and he with her, but obviously they cannot be together. It is magnificently written and I couldn't put it down. Wonderful.
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It started off as an innocent relationship and in time, developed into a serious forbidden love affair. One of the best books I ever read.
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The book is excellent, no doubt about it. But, this is a rare instance where I thought the tv miniseries was better! Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward bring the two main character more to life than words on a page can. Read the book, then watch the series.
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I didn't care for this book. I read it because I remembered the mini-series from when I was a kid. This was a fairly boring book and I couldn't feel empathy for even one of the characters. Maybe I'm missing something?
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This is a book my mother has wanted me to read for a long long time. It is one of her favourite books and naturally she fancies Richard Chamberlain, from the 1980's mini-series. The story itself is not something that wholly interested me at all, but McCullough has a talent for getting under your skin with these characters. In some parts, it feels almost impersonal in the way she tells this story. It is not as if you are there amongst the Cleary's, it is as if she is there guiding you through it. I do not know if this is the norm for Colleen McCullough as this is the first one of hers I have read. The Thorn Birds is the saga of the Cleary family - centring around the life and love of Meggie Cleary. It begins in 1915 and spans a time of fifty years. I don't generally like family sagas they tend to sweep over too much time. Sometimes, with merely a sentence or a paragraph she will sweep over times, often nothing more then a 'by the way, this happened whilst you were away...' but she does so with ease and authority I found it perfectly easy to accept. The endless description about the heat and the dryness, although well written, really started to tire me after a while it happened almost every other page! I'm not very good in the heat, I do not think I'll be going to Australia any time soon!Many of the characters left me angry and exasperated with them. I wish they would realise that they were not fated to be thorn birds - yet always they seemed to think they were already fated and could not turn back. McCullough however writes such wonderful characters - in nothing more then a few words you feel as if you already know them and can already picture them. I loved that.Overall though, I really liked it very much and I am looking forward to reading more of McCullough's books - which I think I will enjoy even more considering the story of The Thorn Birds far from excited me as a whole.
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I've always wanted to read this book, since the time I heard about it. But it was not until recently that I'd gotten the chance to savour this gem of a novel. The thorn birds is a three generational novel, with engaging characters and a beautiful storyline.Challenging in its thickness and its descriptive writing, it took me several days to finish it. This, however, I can undoubtedly say was worth every second of my dear life. The story follows the Cleary's journey to the outback from New Zealand, after an opportunity comes to them. At first, a mite fearful of the prospect, the family eventually settles down and learn the way of life on Drogheda. From the climate, to shearing to problems such as the overpopulation of rabbits. The portrayal of everyday life in a novel, can be dry or dull at times. But in the hands of Colleen McCullough, it overcomes the said weakness and turns it into a highly informative storytelling. The characters here are beautifully woven, each endowed with genuine and raw human emotion. All the personages - from ones with the biggest cameo roles to even the smallest - are significant to the story. However, my favourite protagonist that stands above the huge cast of characters, is Ralph de Bricassart. A catholic priest and an ambitious one at that. We see his internal struggle for a love that would destroy his ideals in mere seconds when succumbed and his spiritual pursuit for something greater.The reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because of the last two chapters about Dane and Justine. I guess its just a matter of opinion because I'd rather read more about Meggie and Ralph - who I'd been following so intently from the very start.All in all, this is a novel that I'd recommend without a second thought. Especially if you're looking for an evocative, and well-written book. This is for you. ;]
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a very good book about a priest torn between his vows as a priest and his love for a woman named maggie
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Interesting, likable characters. Writing style could have been better.
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I've read this book several times, and will probably reread it again in a year or so. Don't base your decision on whether or not to read this on the horrible Mini series with Rachel Ward and Richard Chamberlain...this is the read thing, not the pablum of that television production.The book is deep on characters and the way of life in Australia in the early 1900s. I find myself caring for the people that Ms. McCullough has created, and am drawn in time and time again to their personalities, foibles, faults, including the inability to escape from that which draws you...
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