The Roving Party

The Roving Party An exceedingly powerful debut Wilson s compelling story carries us through forest and over plains leaving a trail of dead men Alan Cheuse The Chicago Tribune Tasmania A group of men convicts a

  • Title: The Roving Party
  • Author: Rohan Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781616953119
  • Page: 164
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An exceedingly powerful debut Wilson s compelling story carries us through forest and over plains, leaving a trail of dead men Alan Cheuse, The Chicago Tribune1829, Tasmania A group of men convicts, a farmer, two free black traders, and Black Bill, an aboriginal man brought up from childhood as a white man are led by Jon Batman, a notorious historical figure, on a An exceedingly powerful debut Wilson s compelling story carries us through forest and over plains, leaving a trail of dead men Alan Cheuse, The Chicago Tribune1829, Tasmania A group of men convicts, a farmer, two free black traders, and Black Bill, an aboriginal man brought up from childhood as a white man are led by Jon Batman, a notorious historical figure, on a roving party Their purpose is massacre With promises of freedom, land grants and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize Passing over many miles of tortured country, the roving party searches for Aborigines, taking few prisoners and killing freely, Batman never abandoning the visceral intensity of his hunt And all the while, Black Bill pursues his personal quarry, the much feared warrior, Manalargena A surprisingly beautiful evocation of horror and brutality, The Roving Party is a meditation on the intricacies of human nature at its most raw.

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      Published :2019-04-01T12:15:33+00:00

    About "Rohan Wilson"

    1. Rohan Wilson

      Rohan Wilson lived a long, mostly lonely, life until a lucky turn of events led him to take up a teaching position in Japan where he met his wife They have a son who loves books, as all children should They live in Launceston but don t know why Rohan holds degrees and diplomas from the universities of Tasmania, Southern Queensland and Melbourne The Roving Party is his first book He can be found on Twitter rohan_wilson.

    698 thoughts on “The Roving Party”

    1. I normally steer well clear of any self-consciously 'Australian' award-winners set in the colonial bush (this won Wilson the Vogel Prize), but when I flicked through the first few pages of this in the shop, the writing immediately intrigued me. It feels urgent and modern in a way that belies its 1829 setting: terse dialogue with an ear for colloquial rhythms, and descriptions that are viscerally poetic – sometimes, literally so.But there's also a mystical quality to this that reminded me of Co [...]


    2. Dark, visceral and confronting, The Roving Party is a hard read. Not only in terms of the brutal, raw material of the subject matter, but also in its structure. Non-standard punctuation (or lack thereof) makes it rather disjointed and a difficult reading experience in one sense, but at the same time this challenge is worth it. Mainly because of the beauty of Wilson's prose. Powerful and punishing with a lower-than-average count of adverbs and adjectives for a work of this length, the style has b [...]


    3. As is frequently necessitated by my bi-coastal existence, the driving up and down through the Midlands of my island is a constant. I recently made the journey yet again after reading Wilson’s award winning book. As is always the case, part of said journey is flanked by the slopes of Ben Lomond, rising bull-like from its range, this time on a sparklingly crisp spring morning. Unusually for the time of year, there was no circumference of frosting to temper its blue-green stance. It is a majestic [...]


    4. My Book Club found itself back in Tasmania, this last month, with The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson. This time it was a different Tasmania - a brutal and savage place with a confronting story told with surprising beauty.Rohan Wilson's poetic prose is as raw as the landscape it describes. Somehow, this spare and pared back language, with its visceral verbs and minimal adjectives, captures the harsh splendour of the Tassie wilderness. Who knew there were so many fascinating ways to describe the bus [...]


    5. NetGalley offered The Roving Party in exchange for a review. This book is a literary western with magic realism elements. The story is simple enough. Set in the 1820′s Tasmania or Van Diemen’s Land, a roving party headed by John Batman set out to track and apprehend an aboriginal clan. Central to the story is an aborigine, Black Bill, who aids John in hunting those of his kind.There isn’t much of a plot or page-turning action or dramatic character development. Instead we’re immersed in t [...]


    6. It's now been a couple of weeks since I finished The Roving Party, which is a good thing for a review because now I know whether it sticks with me or not. It does. The thing that sticks with me most is this: mina. nina. narapa. Googling tells me they are palawa kani words for 'me', 'you', and 'to know' or 'to understand'. palawa kani is the pieced-together language of indigenous Tasmanians. But in the book, they words arrive without explanation. They are a locked door, and a reminder of our fail [...]


    7. This haunting debut by Rohan Wilson is a grim but beautifully written and evocative retelling of the clearing of Van Diemen’s Land for white settlers. Darkly imagined and unblinkingly told, Wilson features a black man raised white as one of two central characters. He is called Black Bill, or The Vandemonian. Vandemonian is a term white settlers of Van Dieman’s Land called themselves. Bill travels with and aids the ‘roving party’ as they seek to kill or capture aborigines in the area that [...]


    8. Rohan Wilson’s The Roving Party is a harrowing account of the hunting of aboriginal peoples by men employed by the Australian government. Although John Batman is a historical figure, the closest representative of a moral center in this novel is the made-up character known as Black Bill. One of the most trusted members of Batman’s party, Black Bill is torn between his upbringing among whites and his lingering native sympathies and superstitions. Unlike most of Batman’s convict crew, who hav [...]


    9. While the history behind this story is really interesting, and the characters very well-drawn, this book was incredibly frustrating to read. The choice by the publlisher/ author to dispense with dialogue punctuation menat that, for me, the story became disjointed and difficult to read, as I was continually having to reread paragraphs for meaning. It was so disappointing, as the story of Black Bill, an aboriginal man who has chosen to support John Batman in his relentless and bloody pursuit of ab [...]


    10. I haven't read much Australian literature, but Wake In Fright is one of my favorite novels, and The Roving Party sits now at the same grim, esteemed table, though not quite at the head of it.Nor am I overly familiar with the history of that land, but I know it is in large part the bloody history shared by many such places that were swept and shaped by colonialism. Telling the somewhat fictionalized tale of one chapter in the history of Tasmania, the The Roving Party heavily borrows the style and [...]


    11. This book was published in Australia in 2011, and will be published by Soho Press in the US in 2014. I read an advance copy of the US edition from NetGalley.The book is based on Tasmanian historical events of which I was unaware until after I'd read the book, so I didn't bring anything to the table except curiosity. The writing mirrored the events of the book harsh, unyielding, austere. Dialogue is not differentiated by quotation marks. The menu of events occurring in the book are limited -- ro [...]


    12. A haunting novel set in Van Diemen's Land around the late 1820s. A party of men, a mix of convicts and black trackers, hunt down aborigines for bounty. The party is led by John Batman but the main character is Black Bill, one of the trackers.This is a brutal story with vivid descriptions of the desolation, weather, hunger and fear all combining to paint a bleak and desolate picture of the life and times.But nothing is more brutal than the callous and cruel actions of the party lead by Batman and [...]


    13. Rohan Wilson’s debut novel has revealed the Plindermairhemener as one of the peoples who inhabited Tasmania from time out of mind, and he gives voice to these people by using their language in this book. It gives the work authenticity and power. For while the sordid tale of human brutality in 1829 is fiction, it is based on extensive scholarship - and such is the power of Wilson’s prose that I believe in the novel’s truth. I know, at an emotional level, that if not these, then some other p [...]


    14. A brutal story about the tragic plight of the indigenous Tasmanians. A courageous book about cowardly acts that have long been glossed over in Australian history.


    15. In 1829, a roving party enters the Tasmanian wilderness with aim of massacring any of the indigenous population they find. Led by John Batman, it is made up for four convicts seeking their freedom, two black trackers from New South Wales, a downtrodden farmhand and Black Bill. Black Bill has been brought up by white settlers, his loyalty given to Batman, but his heritage as an indigenous Tasmanian cannot be forgotten, even as he hunts down Manalargena, the much-feared warrior, witch and headsman [...]


    16. After reading To Name Those Lost I wanted to read anything else Wilson had written. This, his first novel, is a brutal story of Australian whites trying to eradicate the Aborigines. In spite of the horrors portrayed the writing is compelling.


    17. Really really like this book. Very dark. A lot of Nick Cave going on here The bloody racist history of the settlement of Australia and neighboring Tasmania, and the aboriginal role in it.



    18. ‘The Governor is payin us to instil a lesson in the obtuse skulls of these dark skins.’Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania)’s Black War was fought between 1804 and 1830 when the new and old inhabitants of the island clashed violently over occupation and use of the land and its resources. The end result of the Black War was the dispossession and near annihilation of the indigenous inhabitants. In this novel, researched over a number of years, Rohan Wilson focuses on one roving party: sanction [...]


    19. Confession! This is not a book I'd ordinarily have thought to pick up. BUT I'm so glad I did, even if this time it was in the name of research. The Roving Party centres around John Batman and his unruly assortment of men; two free aboriginal trackers from the mainland, convict men promised freedom and land in return for their services rendered, an unsavoury farmhand type, and the conflicted Black Bill, who constantly balances between his aboriginal heritage and being raised white. With none too [...]


    20. Two and a half stars. I was intrigued by the premise of The Roving Party, and it is very well-written, but large parts of it are exceptionally dull. Specifically, when it's nothing but the men wandering in the wilderness for pages at a time--that gets really old, really quickly. The last 30 pages or so are the best part of the entire book, when Katherine joins Black Bill after the death of their baby and Bill finally breaks, killing the two wanderers who captured and abused the young girl. I cou [...]


    21. * won in giveaway.I am not sure I can rate it because I actually couldn't finish it. I gave it 100 pages. I am someone who's completely unfamiliar with this part of history, and I needed a bit more context to understand the situation, the stakes. I am not asking for huge swaths of exposition, but just a little morsel in the beginning. I could sense that it was a complex and fascinating and bloody time, but the nuances went over my head. The author threw us right into the story, which is the sty [...]


    22. This book felt like the Tasmanian version of Blood Meridian, though the hard edges of darkness and violence soften somewhat by the end. Prior to reading it, the only thing I knew about the Aborigines of Van Diemen's Land was that they had existed, somewhere in a distant past. While The Roving Party is not a historical study, its attention to detail and beautifully crafted descriptions transported me back to a time when human actions (and interactions) had little to do with the concept of 'civili [...]


    23. You may not realize how brutal this novel is until you have finished it and look back upon what happened in it. Briefly, what happened was a massacre of aboriginals by European Australians who periodically “cleansed” various areas of Australia. In this case, the leader of the “roving party” was none other than the very real historical character John Batman, prominent grazier, entrepreneur and explorer. Settling in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen’s Land) he mounted roving parties and [...]


    24. The Roving Party has an interesting story to tell, about Black Bill’s conflict over hunting and killing his own people in order to feed his pregnant wife, but does everything it can to make reading that story difficult and frustrating. The stubborn refusal to punctuate dialogue properly means that you are frequently confused over who exactly is talking, and going back to figure out which sentences in a paragraph were spoken by the character or the narrator. This is why quotation marks were inv [...]


    25. A horrific story about massacres and violence and oppression of Tasmanian Aborigines. Well written with gripping characters. What really disturbed me was reading up about the historical basis to the novel and finding out that the leader of the hunting party described in the book (John Batman, whose killing sprees were funded by the government of the day) is celebrated with various statues and memorials in Melbourne as one of the founders of that city. How can we expect reconciliation when we all [...]


    26. A promising, exciting debut novel, and I don't intend that to damn with faint praise. Wilson's stark style is reminiscent of McCarthy, even if I occasionally wished for even more economy of expression. His sense of the Tasmanian landscape is unerring, and he powerfully evokes, but refuses to explain, the racialized brutality of 19th-century colonialism. This last characteristic may present difficulties for readers unfamiliar with the settling of Australia and Tasmania - particularly coupled with [...]


    27. In stark and unapologetic language, Wilson tells a fictionalized version of John Batman's hunting of native Tasmanians. The tone is quite similar to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, not just for the absence of quotation marks to set off dialogue, but for the spare but evocative language and the both tedious and frightening aspect of the travel in the book. I found the story interesting (although the book doesn't provide much context, so you need to research Batman elsewhere to really understand the h [...]


    28. This is amazing. It has really broadened the genre of Invasion literature by expanding the dialogue between whites and blacks. I really got a sense of the bleak despair of both races unable to live together, yet reliant on each; caught in a conflict which will annihilate one race in Tasmania. Heart breakingly sad yet eminently readable, this is a book that needed to be written to expand all our collective consciousness of the tragedy of this genocide. The evocation of place is very powerful and [...]


    29. Fair warning: this is not easy to read. I'm reviewing an advance, uncopyeditted version from the giveaway, so the structural formula may have been changed by the time it hits shelves. But as it stands, it takes a bit of getting used to.The language is incredible; a beautiful landscape of a time and circumstance that isn't that far removed from us, and yet so breathtakingly foreign. The descriptions are vibrant, evoking a strange and unquiet land and people, and the dialogue trips easily off the [...]


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