Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth

Only Killers and Thieves

Two adolescent brothers are exposed to the brutal realities of life and the seductive cruelty of power after a tragedy shatters their family in this riveting debut novel—a story of savagery and race, injustice and honor set in the untamed frontier of 1880s Australia—reminiscent of Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the novels of Cormac McCarthyAn epic Western, a tough coming-of-age story, and a tension-laden tale of survival, Only Killers and Thie...


Details Only Killers and Thieves

TitleOnly Killers and Thieves
ISBN9780062690968
Author
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherHarper
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Cultural, Australia, Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Westerns
Rating

Reviews Only Killers and Thieves

  • Will Byrnes
    1970-01-01
    The guilt is collective, the responsibility shared. In a hundred years no one will even remember what happened here and certainly no one will care. History is forgetting. Afterward we write the account, the account becomes truth, and we tell ourselves it has always been this way, that others were responsible, that there was nothing we could have done. Australia, 1885, drought-stricken central Queensland. The McBrides struggle to scratch a living...
  • Jill
    1970-01-01
    Oh my. Where should I begin? Perhaps here: it is not yet 2018 and this book has already earned a secure place on my Best of 2018 list. It is a searing indictment of racism, and injustice, a glowing tribute to the part of us that struggles to remain human in the worst of circumstances, and a riveting testimony to the power of the writer.I’ve seen this book compared to Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the works of Cormac McCarthy, but to me, the mos...
  • Cynthia
    1970-01-01
    Only Killers and Thieves is a personal reading highlight for 2017. The blurb on the back of the cover compares Howarth to Philipp Meyer and Cormac McCarthy. I’ve become leery when I read such comparisons because I’ve been disappointed so many times and though I haven’t read Meyers I have read Cormac McCarthy and loved his writing. In this case the comparison of Howard’s to McCarthy is apt in that they both write on the edges of what is al...
  • Jill
    1970-01-01
    I just finished Only Killers and Thieves, and I’m heartbroken to be at the end. I was hesitant to read it, because it's clear by reading the description that this wild west saga set in 19th century Queensland will be violent & cruel which is not my favorite. Even though there is brutality which is painful to read, this is a gorgeous story. I was especially impressed by how convincingly the different characters were written. Tommy is a teenager ...
  • Marilyn
    1970-01-01
    I received a copy of Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth in a goodeads give away in exchange for an honest review. To be fair, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy reading this book when I first read what it was about. However, once I started reading it I had a hard time putting it down. I didn't know much about Australia's history during this time period. Paul Howarth did an excellent job describing the terrain of the Australian outback durin...
  • Bonnie Brody
    1970-01-01
    This amazing book takes place in late nineteenth century Australia in a remote location that is barely settled and has suffered drought for so long that everything is covered with a coat of dust. The McBride family has been trying to make a go of ranching but things are looking very bleak. One day the two boys, Tommy and Billy McBride, go out for a ride and come home to find their parents murdered and their younger sister Mary very close to death...
  • Kathleen (QueenKatieMae)
    1970-01-01
    Only Killers and Thieves is an incredibly dark and powerful novel set in the terrible beauty of the Australian Outback, specifically Queensland, an endless desert plain, blistering hot and prone to year-long droughts. While the frontier wars between the European immigrants and the Aboriginal tribes were intense, the massacres in Queensland were the bloodiest. It was a dark and violent time when even the most honorable people did terrible things a...
  • Mary Lins
    1970-01-01
    “Only Killers and Thieves”, by first time novelist, Paul Howarth, has been compared to Philipp Meyer’s, “The Son”, and Paulette Jiles’, “News of the World”; masterpieces both, I’d also say that it has a “whiff” of Steinbeck’s, “East of Eden”, and though it is beautifully written and an arresting tale, it’s is not quite up to these lofty comparisons.Set in the harsh edge of the Australian Outback of the late Nineteent...
  • Threasa Jenkins
    1970-01-01
    I won this book on Goodreads, and it is a very good book. Mr. Howarth takes a very disturbing story from 1880s Australia to tell us. Two teenage boys go swimming one day. When they come back, their parents have been killed, and their sister is barely hanging on. They get help from a landowner who didn't get along with their father. Billy, the older brother, tells the man that the blacks killed his parents. The rest of the book shows how horribly ...
  • Veronica
    1970-01-01
    It's been a while since I read this and honestly I still think about it so often. It's not the type of book I usually read but I loved every part of it.
  • Charlotte
    1970-01-01
    This is a dark and powerful novel set in the Australian Outback. It was a dark and violent time when even the most honorable people did terrible things.The story takes place at the end of the 19th century and is centered on Tommy and Billy, brothers in their teens whose family is struggling to raise cattle in a bad territory. With no rain for the past year, the cattle, and family, are starving. Without rain, they must rely on the small amount of ...
  • RMazin
    1970-01-01
    This is a violent, coming of age chronicle of Tommy McBride. He is the youngest son in the McBride family, working a small ranch in the Queensland outback of the 1880s. The land is rough, the outlook for success bleak. When the brothers, Billy and Tommy, return to their homestead from a day’s outing, they are met with a horrific scene. Shortly after, both McBride brothers are then taken under the wing of John Sullivan, the neighboring landowner...
  • Sue
    1970-01-01
    First my disclaimer: I won this book on Goodreads. I will give it a fair review.This was a truly well-written book. It’s ostensibly an historical fiction novel set in the Australian outback in the late 1800s. However, it’s much more than that. The story line is about two teenage boys and their fight to find the people responsible for the murder of their family and what that journey does to each of them. As much a part of the story is the real...
  • Kim McGee
    1970-01-01
    It takes a rare writer to find the beauty in brutality whether it is from nature or the people living there but this is exactly what Paul Howarth does when he tells the story of two teenage brothers in the 1880's Australian outback. After they come home to find their family savagely murdered and their younger sister near death, they take her to the neighboring wealthy landowner. The brothers are invited to join the vigilante group who are going o...
  • Ronald Koltnow
    1970-01-01
    Australia and the American West have much in common: they are both frontiers and the histories of both are fraught with racial tensions, with conflicts between the settlers and the indigenous people. One of the great cattle drive movies is the 1946 Australian film THE OVERLANDERS. About 20 years ago, Harper Collins published Greg Matthews's brilliant Australian western THE WISDOM OF THE BONES (it's set between the world wars, but it's as western ...
  • Vanessa
    1970-01-01
    This is an interesting story of living in Australia in the 1880s. After a long drought and the hardships that result when there is no water or food for cattle, there is a rain storm. Two boys go to a nearby swimming spot and come back to find their family slaughtered. Their powerful neighbor convinces them to blame the natives and they go off in search of revenge. The younger boy, Tommy, begins to question everything about the situation and espec...
  • Kristin
    1970-01-01
    An absolutely vicious debut novel, “Only Killers and Thieves,” by Paul Howarth is a dark and violent coming-of-age story of the McBride brothers, Billy and Tommy, set in the late 1880’s Australian Outback. After discovering the slaughter of their family, the McBride boys, one eager, one reluctant, join with local land baron, Joseph Sullivan to hunt down and massacre the Aboriginals responsible. During their brutal battle for vengeance, the ...
  • Valentina
    1970-01-01
    This is a brutal story, but one that is beautifully told. The characters, especially Tommy and Noone, are truly realized, brought to life for the reader. It is important to get through the first thirty pages or so. They are a bit on the slow side, but once you do pass that threshold, a stunning story unfolds.I will warn that there is a lot of violence in this novel. Of all kinds. If you are triggered by explicit fight scenes, assaults, descriptio...
  • Maja Lisa
    1970-01-01
    Instead of summarizing the plot, I want to talk about that this book is about. This book is about race, it is about racism, it is about witch-hunting and brutality and egoism. In these ways, this book is more timely than ever, even if it is set in the Queensland outback of the 1880s. We watch in horror as Tommy McBride, the youngest son of struggling family, finds himself seeped in tragedy. The tragedy is then used by evil men to seek out revenge...
  • Roxanne
    1970-01-01
    This is a Goodreads win review. This book is set in Australia when it was a frontier in the 1880,s comparable to when our USA west was being settled. It is about when Australia is a colony and they have a very bad drought, but when they finally get rain the two brothers go swimming and come home to find dead parents and they know for sure who killed them. They join up with a not too nice wealthy landowner and they set out to to erase the indigeno...
  • Jo
    1970-01-01
    As the synopsis says, it's about the "assimilation" of the native peoples of Australia. Substitute the North American Natives for the Aboriginals and you can easily fill in the blanks. Murder, land grabs, broken treaties, slavery, all in a thinly veiled bid to take what the original landholders had. None of it was pretty. This story was harsh, brutal, unforgiving. After the first half, I started skipping parts of it because it was so hard to read...
  • Carole Knoles
    1970-01-01
    Recently I found myself in a place where I had a hard time settling on a book. I’d pick up a book, read a few pages, and set it down not because it was a bad book but just not the right book at that moment. Then I opened Only Killers And Thieves and was immediately swept up in a Wild West like tale set in Australia. It brought to mind works by Cormac McCarthy or Philipp Meyer. Excellent Book!
  • Jk
    1970-01-01
    I received an Advance Reader's Edition of this book for free via the Goodreads Giveaways program and would like to thank everyone involved in making that happen.I really can't think of any words that will do this novel justice. It is stark and devastating, yet also hauntingly beautiful. This is an astonishing debut and I cannot wait to see more from Paul Howarth!
  • Liz
    1970-01-01
    This is a powerful book. It is beautifully written with such gripping detail that it draws the reader into each scene. The inhumanity, brutality and despair left me saddened and remorseful. This is a story that I will remember for a long time. I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.
  • Creager
    1970-01-01
    When two brothers find their family murdered in the 1885 Australian outback a traumatic tale of revenge sets forth. With one supposed clue the brothers turn to a man vilified by their father for help and thus unleash the full force of whitefella power. In the name of God or by right of Darwin, man will justify their actions and in Only Killers and Thieves brothers, Tommy and Billy, must live with theirs.The revenge of True Grit meets the oppresso...
  • Shannon
    1970-01-01
    Set in 1885 in Australia, Only Killers and Thieves is a dark book about racial conflict. It was a difficult book to read, I am not fond of violent stories and this one had several events that are difficult to imagine. But it was worth reading and will be one the stays with me. I won this book in a Goodreads' giveaway, but the opinion is all my own.
  • Pam Flynn
    1970-01-01
    Only Killers and Thieves is set in the Australian outback during a time of drought & hardship. The characters are authentic & draw the reader into their difficult world of survival & life as circumstances twist and turn.
  • Erica
    1970-01-01
    I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The release date in US is February 6, 2018. Thank you to the publisher for the free copy and to the author for such an engaging read. I thought the writing was impeccable. The story grabbed at my heart and I didn’t want it to end.
  • Kristen Beverly
    1970-01-01
    Wow... this is another wow book for me. I’m on a roll! It’s about two brothers in the late 1800’s who set across Australia in order to get revenge. One brother is sure he wants it, the other isn’t. It’s a fantastic read- one that I didn’t want to end!
  • Barbara Senteney
    1970-01-01
    I tried reading this but do not like the story, I am bored, and am DNFing this book at page 37. Too slow for my taste, I cannot go on.