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Morgan's Run Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Richard Morgan has a fine life in mid-18th-century Bristol, England. He's a skilled gunsmith and a devoted family man. In his late 20s, his life falls apart; his wife and two adored children die over a short space of time, and he is framed for a crime he did not commit. After several years in the worst imaginable prisons, he is one of a large number of convicts put on a slave ship for the month's long voyage to Australia. He survives the brutish treatment with unbelievable equanimity and finds a new life in Botany Bay. Although Morgan's demeanor is so sunny as to be Pollyanna-ish, the history and drama woven through his life story are very absorbing. McCullough has a great sense of place and time when writing about Australia and its colorful past. Reader Tim Curry captures the voices eloquently. Recommended for libraries with historical fiction fans. Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) Riveting.

The Washington Post McCullough really shines.

People Compelling....A stirring saga.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671024183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671024185
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James on September 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At the pagecount 220, when Richard Morgan is surprised at his own eloquence, I am caught in surprise at hers, although I ought not be. For I have known her work these two decades, and there is none better now writing in the English tongue.
Colleen McCollough has both a voice and an ear; when she writes, you can hear her characters, and what she writes, you can her own voice, her own very active mind at work -- and at play. When I first read The Thorn Birds, what surprised me most was her voice; it was the first time I ever read a writer that didn't write in American English or even British English, her syntax and rhythms had an element all its own, it was my introduction to a distinctive AUSTRALIAN English (this was the mid-70's, before even Crocodile Dundee, after all).
Once again, she hits the nail right on the head with Morgan's Run. It's exciting to read, you fly right through the book. What amazes me, though, is the level of research she does for every page she writes. You can tell just from the maps and illustrations in each one of her books she's done her homework, and made it so interesting, to boot.
When I read CREED FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM, I wound up infuriated by it. After reading Creed, I realized how tired I was of people following or searching for "a philosophy worth dying for." What I wanted was a philosphy worth living for. Richard Morgan is, in many ways, the opposite number to that novel's J.C. -- he puts his nonverbalized view of life into practice, into action, and Colleen McCollough takes you along on his journey.
There are many sly little touches tossed off throughout.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Having read all but two of her books, I am still an avid Colleen McCullough fan, after having just completed her latest, "Morgan's Run." I have never been disappointed in anything she has written, for this author has a rare gift for both seeing into the depths of the human soul, understanding all the sociological, anthropological, medical and legal aspects of the history she so fastidiously studies to present us with these flawless books. The Masters of Rome series is the most insightful and thorough work I have read on that era in human history, and I was a bit resentful when the final volume was set aside to write this book first. However, now that she promises it will be two volumes to complete that series, I am happier again. With this book I had the same feeling that I always experience with her writing: "It can't stop here...I want more of the ongoing story as only she can tell it!" So her closing promise that we would learn more of Richard Morgan and Norfolk Island really gladdened my heart. Perhaps the majority of us knew little of the terrible experiment that created the penal colony of Australia, and nothing of this tiny island, and we can now appreciate more fully the strength of those castaways who created such flourishing new colonies. Thank you, Colleen McCullough, for some of the best reading I have ever enjoyed. Keep them coming!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was very bored while reading the first hundred pages of this book. Then, I was somewhat bored reading until Richard Morgan gets arrested. After that I was interested, but not fascinated. Once the ships headed for Australia though, I was hooked.

This book is about Colleen McCullough's real life great great, grandfather, Richard Morgan, who was arrested in England under false charges so he couldn't testify against a powerful man who he had caught avoiding taxes. From his place in prison, which is overcrowded thanks to the revolutionary war in America which caused a halt on sending convicts out of the British Isles, Morgan is placed on a prison hulk in the Thames. This is a grand experiment, to see if old slaving boats can work well as prisons without taking up land space. From there, Morgan, along with several other healthy convict buddies, are loaded into a somewhat better ship, and sailed off to the newly discovered Australia, known then as New South Wales. In this way, England solved its prison problem, and colonized a new continent ahead of the Dutch.

I'm sure a lot of the book is family legend about Richard Morgan's real life deeds, but I don't care. This book is a fascinating, brutal slice of real history and an amazing look at a man who will do whatever it takes to survive. Even if Richard Morgan tends to be a little cardboard like, his story and friends who are full of color make up for it. This book turned me on to a whole new area in history, and I'm extremely disappointed there are no other such books about the colonization of Australia.

If you're thinking about reading this, do. It's slow going to the start, but more than worth it in the end. I know it's a book I'll read year after year.

Five stars all the way.
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Format: Hardcover
.... you'll have a splendid time learning about life in England and New South Wales during the 1780's. McCullough is a teacher with a gift for writing and I had a great time with the story. Not as scholarly as the Masters of Rome Series, but I'm guessing her publisher insisted upon her producing something that appeals to a wider market. I have a new appreciation for the Australian's and was shocked to learn about the unfairness of the English court system during those times. This will be a great follow-up to the summer Olympics ... get a glimpse of that beautiful harbor as it was 220 years ago and let the spirit of Richard Morgan inspire you in the same way that some of your favorite athletes have!
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