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The Thorn Birds (1977)

by Colleen McCullough

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,8101331,099 (3.98)253
Adaptation of Colleen McCullough's epic novel about an Australian priest torn by personal desires and ambition. This title has been repackaged. Disc one contains episodes 1 and 2; disc two contains episodes 3 and 4; disc three contains extra content.
  1. 10
    The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (Fliss88)
  2. 10
    Roses by Leila Meacham (miriamparker)
    miriamparker: ROSES, like THE THORNBIRDS, is an epic family saga that you won't be able to put down.
  3. 00
    The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (espertus)
    espertus: Another well-written historical romance
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» See also 253 mentions

English (127)  German (3)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
You can sum up this book in two words, Greek Tragedy though these days we would say dystopian. Regardless of the term you choose, I found the book had excellent prose and a wonderful plot despite that the characters lives were tragic more often than not.

I particularly liked the strong female character of Meggie and the way the family ties are such an important part of the story. There are lots of topics, i.e. love, greed, ambition, just to name a few, that the book touches on in the epic family saga. It would make a great choice for a book club because there is much to talk about.

I also loved all the descriptions of the Australian Outback. It made me want to make a trip there immediately. Even though this book was published a number of years ago, the story is still relevant and the characters relatable. Recommend. ( )
1 vote purpledog | Sep 15, 2021 |
Fiction
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
High melodrama of a peculiarly Catholic kind, and a rambling, drawn-out ending, but a good page-turning old yarn just the same. Three and a half stars. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
I never saw the TV series, so came to it with only the vaguest knowledge.
This is a blockbuster famil.y saga, starting off with the impoverished Cleary family in NZ who receive an invitation from Dad's wealthy older sister to work on her ranch in Australia. A fervent Catholic, she has her own "pet" priest, the charming Father Ralph de Bricassart.
As the family set to a tough life, daughter Meggy forms a great bond with Father Ralph...
The years roll by...marriage, deaths, the War. an inheritance, a secret...
As we moved into the latter sections: the next generation, life in the Vatican...I think it was more of a *3. Rainer and Justine left me cold.
But well worth a read. Some good writing. ( )
  starbox | Jun 26, 2021 |
What can you say, a classic. ( )
  SharleneMartinMoore | Apr 24, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 127 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCullough, Colleenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Binchy, MaeveIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christiansen, IbTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerström, BertilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain. ... Or so says the legend.
Dedication
for 'big sister' Jean Easthope
First words
On December 8th, 1915, Meggie Cleary had her fourth birthday.
Quotations
"If she was capable of it, surely once or twice her guard would have slipped; surely once or twice she would have experienced a pang of something more than tolerant affection for her infrequent lovers. It didn't occur to her that she deliberately chose lovers who would never threaten her self-imposed detachment, so much a part of herself by now that she regarded it as completely natural."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Adaptation of Colleen McCullough's epic novel about an Australian priest torn by personal desires and ambition. This title has been repackaged. Disc one contains episodes 1 and 2; disc two contains episodes 3 and 4; disc three contains extra content.

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Book description
VIRAGO EDITION:
Sometimes when he didn't know he was being watched Meggie would look at him and try desperately to imprint his face upon her brain's core...And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way...
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Average: (3.98)
0.5 2
1 27
1.5 8
2 82
2.5 26
3 387
3.5 84
4 662
4.5 70
5 673

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