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Morgan's Run

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,975 ratings  ·  184 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)
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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 LindsayCloudstreet by Tim WintonTrue History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
Historical fiction: Australia
9th out of 97 books — 48 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakCloudstreet by Tim WintonTomorrow, When the War Began by John MarsdenA Town Like Alice by Nevil ShuteThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Best Modern Australian Literature
67th out of 330 books — 431 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lynnda Ell
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
A Kritzer
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
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
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.
Barbara VA
This is the fascinating story of the first of 3 colonizations of Norfolk Island off of the coast of Australia in the late 1700's. Well researched, Richard Morgan is a multi generationed ancestor of McCullough's husband (the couple still live on Norfolk Island). Morgan is a man of many talents in Bristol, England. He has a wife and daughter he adores, works in his father's pub and has saved a fair amount of money with dreams for his own home. Time is not generous to him and circumstances beyond h ...more
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
M. Louis
Morgan's Run, a historical fiction written by Colleen McCullough, is another amazing work by an amazing artist. Set in the late 18th century, she begins by depicting British life in a shipping town, Bristol, whose financial well being is heavily depressed by the war against the colonies. The protagonist is scooped up by a corrupt judicial system and eventually shipped off to New South Wells (Australia) and Norfolk Island.

The majority of the book portrays the lives of the first felons, free men
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.
"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
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.
:( What happened?! I was really looking forward to reading another Colleen McCullough's book after falling in love with The Thorn Birds
Though this book will be a great read: it's about early Australia, the convicts, England's criminal system, it's long...On the surface this book has everything I am looking for. Even the style of writing didn't bother me at all and I got used to it fast. However, all of the sudden, somewhere around page 300 I realized that I didn't care at all for Richard or for
Suzanne Semsch
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
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!
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
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.
very compelling - an excellent read
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
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
Frances Fuller
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
Sooooo I finally finished Morgan's Run. It has been a long and hard reading. Not because the book was not interesting: it was full of History, romance, adventure. But it's just too long, and with too many details. I learnt a lot about Australia and its discovering by England, but I had not expected to have such a lesson. I feel less stupid now that I have been reading Morgan's Run (I used to know absolutely nothing about the history of this part of the world), but I haven't felt as if I have bee ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Publisher's Review in Description Field? 9 57 Aug 19, 2012 02:20PM  
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Colleen McCullough AO (born 1 June 1937) was an internationally acclaimed Australian author, born in Wellington in central west New South Wales to James and Laurie McCullough.

Colleen grew up during World War II. Before entering tertiary education, she previously earned a living as a teacher, librarian, and journalist. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered de
More about Colleen McCullough...
The Thorn Birds The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome, #3) Caesar (Masters of Rome, #5)

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