Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Morgan's Run” as Want to Read:
Morgan's Run
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Morgan's Run

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  3,355 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
In a story of breathtaking scope, Colleen McCullough returns to the magnificent setting of her international bestseller The Thorn Birds.

Following the disappearance of his only son and the death of his beloved wife, Richard Morgan is falsely imprisoned and exiled to the penal colonies of eighteenth-century Australia. His life is shattered but Morgan refuses to surrender, ov
Paperback, 848 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Pocket Books (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Morgan's Run, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Caitlin As far as I can see, there are no more books about Morgan. Sadly, McCullough died this year, so there will be no more books.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloughA Town Like Alice by Nevil ShutePicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan LindsayThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanMorgan's Run by Colleen McCullough
Historical fiction: Australia
5th out of 122 books — 59 voters
A Town Like Alice by Nevil ShuteThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloughIn a Sunburned Country by Bill BrysonOn the Beach by Nevil ShutePicnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
Books Set in Australia
24th out of 545 books — 158 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lynnda Ell
Oct 02, 2010 Lynnda Ell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an emerging writer, deep into learning the skills of the craft, I read a lot of professionals' advice. Most experts suggest that a novel be developed with a plot full of action. Not surprisingly, then, I find that most books - regardless of genre - follow this model. Not so with Colleen McCullough's Morgan's Run.

This historical novel, based on the founding of The Botany Bay colony, centers on the life of one man, Richard Morgan. Begun in the mid-1700s, the story tells of the ricochet effect
This is the story of Richard Morgan, a convict who spent twelve months on the seas and how this kind of people were used in order to populate an unknown continent. With the advent of the American Revolution has closed the New World to England’s prisoners.

The author thus describes the 18th century England’s colonization of Australia with the foundation of a new prison colony of
Botany Bay - the same place where Captain Cook landed in 1770.

The ships disembarked in Port Jackson, which will become
Not long ago I read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and so I surprised myself by reading this book so soon afterwards as I do not tend to read the same author twice in such close proximity.

In The Thorn Birds I recognised a good author although the story itself did not interest me. In Morgan's Run the two were combined together - a great story written by a good author.

McCullough has a very definite style and voice in the way she writes. I think the most important part of a book is the autho
Apr 24, 2008 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of McCullough and 18th Cent. England
One's reading life is too abbreviated to waste on books that are long on page length and short on information. As evidenced by her otherwise excellent Masters of Rome series and this bit of over-researched fluff, McCullough desperately needs an editor. Morgan's Run (aka "life," as in, "I had a good run" as well as the name of a government-sanction rum distillery on Norfolk Island) is a biography of Richard Morgan, freeman of Bristol transported by a typical late 18th century British miscarriage ...more
Joy H.
Added 12/13/13

2/4/14 - I am still trying to get through this book (in between other books). I'm on p.291 out of 832 pages in this paperback edition. Don't know if I'll stick with this book. Some of the GR reviewers say the last part of the book is better that the first part. Guess I'll stick with it and do a lot of skimming.

2/13/14 - I've decided to give up on this book. I read to page 388 and still wasn't enjoying it. Among other things, there were too many names without any real character deve
Nov 28, 2009 Phair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened first to the abridged audio read by Tim Curry- excellent. It was then selected by my f2f discussion group so I read the book as well. Always like stories set in days of Australian penal colony and this one was good. The parts on the ship were quite graphic in describing the hardships but I liked the cleverness of the main character in his preparations for survival in the prison ship. Also like the way the main character built his homestead in Australia. Great adventure. Wish it would h ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Amie rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, it was a bit slow to start but once things went pear shaped for the lead character, things got interesting for the reader. Colleen McCulloch's perspective on the transportation of convicts to Australia is fascinating and vivid. Her characters grow more loveable with each turn of the page and this novel makes strong links to the character and grit of the Australian people, regardless of ancestry.
Sep 09, 2010 Claudia rated it it was amazing
This was a challenging read. The author does SO MUCH historical research, and includes lots of period language, descriptions of items that I'm not familiar with, etc. This makes it slow going, but the story was SO good. The main character, Richard Morgan, was a real person sent from England as a convict to colonize Australia. Fascinating historical fiction.
Deborah Pickstone
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by one of my favourite authors. he has her own voice for whatever she writes and this is no different; her voice was unique to this novel and not like her voice for the Masters of Rome series. The differences in voice - or maybe I should say style - between books/series' is very unusual I think
I wanted to throw this book out of the window at least 5 times while reading it. Yet somehow I struggled to the bitter (horrible) ending. I have two main complaints:

1. Richard Morgan is seriously annoying. No real human is that perfect all the time. He has the perfect body, perfect mind, perfect manners, perfect skills for every situation and perfect ability to control himself no matter what happens. During hundreds of pages the man never does anything wrong and everyone adores him. Personally I
Jacquie South
I started this a couple of years ago, but it didn't grab me, so I went onto something else. Desperate for a book recently, I picked it up again, and started it again (taking quite a while to realise I had actually read the start before!). Again, I didn't really like the start of the book, but got through it this time, and it was worth it. Once Richard is convicted and sent on board ship in London to await transportation, the story really starts to become interesting. I enjoyed reading about life ...more
Oct 27, 2009 Les rated it liked it
I had to put this book down for awhile. I was having problems going with the flow of the authors words and sentences and paragraphs. You know how it is when you first pick up a book and are on page 16 before you know it, sometimes while you're still standing in the store? Well this didn't work for me, plus the fact that I'm not ready right now to devote myself to a large epic. I'm saving it for another time. I like the idea of the main character helping to define the future of jus ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Jojo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
"Colleen McCullough possui uma capacidade notável: transforma o mais entediante dos acontecimentos num momento de verdadeira emoção. Pode haver uma grande história a servir de bandeja mas, o que conta é o que está a ser servido!" in
May 07, 2016 Amy rated it liked it
I read this book several years ago, and rather enjoyed it, but quickly forgot the title and author (I don't usually read these type of novels, preferring to stick to westerns or sci-fi/fantasy). I already had a fascination with the late 18th century, but was really only aware of American and French goings-ons. While I understand this is a work of fiction, it still provided insight to other facets of the world at the time.

I generally liked the characters, but I'll admit that they were kind of fla
Nannie Bittinger
Not fair to really review this one as I listened to the abridged version of the book. Just right for me but I'm sure I missed a lot of details. Really made me want to read more about the prisoners that were sent to settle Australia.
Feb 10, 2012 Marcris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanzi
La storia sarebbe avvincente se non fosse troppo piena di dettagli inutili e che appesantiscono la lettura. Brava l'autrice per la ricostruzione storica, ma senza esagerare!
Jan 12, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about the English convicts settling the British Colony in New South Wales, specifically Norfolk Island. I couldn't put this story down!
Gregory Lamb
Dec 30, 2012 Gregory Lamb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gripping history of the birth of a nation and it's people. Even though it is super long, this one is worth investing the time to read.
Sep 21, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
very compelling - an excellent read
Mar 02, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Morgan is living in Bristol, England in 1775 when the story begins. He's married and helps his father run a tavern. Over the next few years, his life unravels as he loses a significant sum of money in a poor investment along with the loss of his wife and then son. Later, he is arrested and convicted - largely to make him unavailable to testify in another case. He is sentenced to 7 years transportation and is on the first group of ships which take convicts to what is now Australia. It's ...more
Andrea O'Brien
Feb 05, 2016 Andrea O'Brien rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A Kritzer
Sep 28, 2015 A Kritzer rated it liked it
As much as I love Colleen McCullough's Roman series of books, I was very much let down by this novel. I would rate it as a 7 out of 10, hence the 3 stars.

The first part of the book has some promise and keeps some interest of things to come. The tragedies and turmoil of Richard keeps you going. Once Richard Morgan is sent to prison the story starts to break down. Still I kept going, hoping for better.

Once at sea we see some action, but never enough to take it to the next level. Somehow Morgan is
Paula Dembeck
Aug 21, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it it was ok
Richard Morgan, the son of a British tavern keeper, is a devoted husband and has a son who he adores. He expects he will always live in Bristol, a town he has lived in all his life and knows well. He has no desire to venture far from its surroundings, expecting to raise his family here and eventually live out his days. But after inadvertently coming upon and reporting excise fraud, he unwittingly becomes trapped in the net of the British justice system. Unable to properly defend himself, he is f ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Oh! This book!
This book has been on my reading list for so long that I feel accomplished just getting it off that list!!

It's Colleen McCullough. Therefore, you can naturally assume that the research is phenomenal. The writing is unbelievable (albeit leaning towards textbook sometimes in this one). And the characters are extremely well-developed and thoughtful.

However, this book is so dreadful to start! I could only read a page or two at a time. (I confess I kept reading it for so long because a
Suzanne Semsch
Sep 08, 2014 Suzanne Semsch rated it really liked it
Morgan's Run is a very long book, filled with the history of England's settlement of Australia. Although I've known it was basically a settlement of convicts—people found guilty of both serious and minor crimes—I really knew very little of the trials and hardships of those sentenced to "transportation". The story is based on the life of Richard Morgan, a man of intelligence, high morals, from a good hard-working Bristol family who was convicted on what was basically a false charge.

The book invo
Apr 08, 2014 Jamie rated it liked it
Richard Morgan lives in 1700s Bristol, England. He's got a wife he loves, a difficult father, and a child. Small tragedies occur but the theme of the beginning of the story is that Richard just plods along. He's not a go-getter, a leader, a think-for-yourselfer. The tragic loss of a loved one sends him into despair and a few life altering decisions and relationships don't go his way and Richard- a perfectly good, normal, plain sort of guy ends up being convicted of a crime and being transported ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it
This has been the shelf for years and I finally got around to reading it. The story takes place in the late 1700s after the American Revolution, in Bristol, England, on a slaver/convict transport vessel, and eventually in Norfolk Island by way of Botany Bay, Australia. Colleen McCullough does amazing research to provide incredible details about life in whatever period she is writing, using language which is not too modern and describing things as they might be perceived by the character who know ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Frances rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Do not read this if you have even a very basic knowledge of Australian history.

I cannot call this a historical novel because this author thought by throwing in some names and events she could make history out of fiction, it doesn't work that way. I have tried to read her books before and found them ponderous and excessive in description to make up for plot. Decided to give it another go and fight my way to the end. Mistake.

What I find interesting about the readers who wrote reviews, they either
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judi/Judith Riddle
This novel is based on the true story of Richard Morgan who is the real life 4 times-great, grandfather of Coleen McCullough's husband. The novel took me on an adventure that I had never even dreamed of in this riveting, bigger than life novel. Richard Morgan led a somewhat average life in England in the late 1700s but his unjust conviction of a crime that he didn't commit and his exile first by ship, under the most deplorable conditions that one could imagine, sent him on journey that gave him ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Publisher's Review in Description Field? 9 61 Aug 19, 2012 02:20PM  
  • The Exiles (The Australians, #1)
  • Solomon's Song (The Potato Factory, #3)
  • Heritage
  • For the Term of His Natural Life
  • Shalimar
  • The Dreaming: A Novel of Australia
  • The Assyrian
  • The Timeless Land
  • A Durable Fire
  • A Twist of Fate
Colleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim.

Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. She flourished at Catholic schools and earned a physiology degree from the University of New South Wales in 1963. Planning become a doctor, she found that she had a violent aller
More about Colleen McCullough...

Share This Book