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The Thorn Birds

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  274,367 Ratings  ·  4,745 Reviews
Powered by the dreams and struggles of three generations, The Thorn Birds is the epic saga of a family rooted in the Australian sheep country. At the story's heart is the love of Meggie Cleary, who can never possess the man she desperately adores, and Ralph de Bricassart, who rises from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican...but whose passion for Meggie will f ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 692 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Avon (first published 1977)
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Zadignose This question is similar to asking "should Catholics believe in God?" The answers given so far (all fundamentally "no") are based on the presumption…moreThis question is similar to asking "should Catholics believe in God?" The answers given so far (all fundamentally "no") are based on the presumption that Catholicism is bullshit. If you don't presume that, the answer isn't so straightforward. Taking the outsider's perspective, it's easy to reject another's faith. Should Christian Scientists go to the doctor when they're sick? If I have contempt for their faith, obviously the answer is "yes, you're sick, go to the doctor." Because, obviously, I don't believe what they believe.

As far as Catholics and the attitudes towards priests and celibacy, well... love of family and love of a woman might sound all nice, but Jesus himself had no special love or consideration for his own family, he didn't care much even for his own mother, the Holy Virgin, and he told his disciples to abandon their families and devote themselves entirely to spreading the Word of God.

Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

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Tante Zoe I read an article by Germaine Greer where I think she mentions that it is likely to be set in or around Walgett....
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Community Reviews

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Ana
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I gave this book a five-star rating because otherwise my mother would disown me. (How would she know? Mothers know everything.) This is her favorite book/movie/miniseries. My first reaction to hearing this story was to stare blankly, shake my head and think to myself, 'parents have the worst taste in books.'

I grew up on Britney, Christina and Backstreet Boys. I survived Twilight. I owned a a bright pink Spice Girls T-shirt that had matching shorts with white hearts (and wore it proudly in publ
...more
Elyse
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There could be thirteen million things to write about this book - but since I'm 'retired'.....only writing abbreviated reviews- I'll try to make this short. This novel must have been one of the most scandalous- talked about novels - to hit the book shelves back in 1977.
And..... it was a *FINE* read these past few days!!!!! By *FINE*, I mean a VERY ADDICTIVE compelling engrossing WONDERFUL read.....an epic that stretches our hearts beyond the Outback regions of Australia.

Tidbits....
.....The rel
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I've wanted to read this book for years, but I'm glad I waited till I was at a stage in my life when I might appreciate it the most (though it wasn't deliberate). I didn't know anything about the story before I started except that it's a classic Australian novel, epic in scope, and was made into a mini-series or something starring Rachel Ward years ago. I like not knowing much about books before I read them, though: it leaves you wide-open for the story to be told, and absorbed.

This is indeed an
...more
Fabian
Sep 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This beaut of a soap opera has been around for decades & for excellent reason. Epics have been forgotten and more readily current authors satisfy readers (or do not, as the case may be) with smaller stories & smaller lives.

McCullough has the tenacity to include three generations in this sprawling saga, and as family portraits usually tell of differences between the generations PLUS the ties that bind them together and to a home, this one exactly does that in an extremely entertaining fas
...more
Neena
Jan 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, epics
It seems I'm one of very few who did not like this novel. The thing that amazes me is why would anyone give it more than two stars? I am not into romance genre but I have enjoyed many good romance books. This love between Maggie and Ralph was so unreal, kind of pathetic. The dilemma of all characters seemed funny to me. Here it goes like this....

Ralph: I truly love you Maggie but I love 13 million pounds and power more. I am sorry love, we can't live together but we can meet secretly once every
...more
Nettle
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my fucking God. This book. I was standing in the kitchen this morning angrily chopping veg and I couldn't work out why, then I realised, it was this book just making me irrationally angry, when I wasn't even reading it!

Tragedies within the first 50 pages, let's list them.

1. She gets a lovely doll!
1.5 Doll is trashed.
2. She gets sent to school at last!
2.5 School is terrible she's beaten every day.
3. It's ok she makes an awesome friend!
3.5 Friend hates her, fuck you, nits.
4. She realllly wants
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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The Thorn Birds is one of those books that might be as great as I remember . . . or it might have been a real turd. However, it consistently pops up on my feed due to other friends reading it and I felt it was high time to explain my 5 Star rating (and Tadiana’s review of a different book added some inspiration).

Here’s the deal. This was the first book I ever stole from my mother. It was right after the miniseries came out, I was lik
...more
Xenia0201
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I think I read this for the first time in 4th grade. (I hid it in my room for a month b/c this is sooo not a book for a 10 year old!!) My father is an ex-Catholic priest who left the church for my mother so when the mini series came out, the world stopped in my house for an entire week. It's an epic saga about an Irish farming family who relocated to Australia to help work at an ailing aunt's ranch. The book spans some 40+ years of hardships they encounter. The only daughter, Meggie, falls in lo ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The thorn birds, Colleen McCullough
عنوانها: مرغان شاخسار طرب؛ آخرین پرنده در شاخه ای تنها؛ آخرین پرنده؛ پرنده خارزار؛ مرغان خارزار؛ و مرغ خار؛ نویسنده: کالین مک کالو؛
عنوان: مرغان شاخسار طرب، نویسنده: کالین مک کالو؛ مترجم: فرشته طاهری؛ تهران، انتشارات ویس؛ 1367؛ در 791 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1368؛ سوم 1369؛ بعدا نشر درسا)؛
مرغ خار، طاهره صدیقیان-رویا صدوقی، نشر مروارید 1369
پرنده خارزار، مهدی غبرایی، نشر نیلوفر 1371
پرندگان خارزار، امیر راسترو، نشر قصه پرداز 1379
مرغان شاخسار طرب، تیمور قادری- زهرا قادری، نش
...more
Sharon
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Thorn Birds is a beautifully written Australian novel. This story spans over three generations of the Cleary family. It mainly centres around young, Meggie who is the only girl in the family. Meggie's mother only has eyes for her sons which leaves. Meggie feeling very unloved by her mother. Growing up there are many things, Meggie needs to know about life in general, but Meggie knows she can't ask her mother. So Meggie turns to the the local priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart for answers. Ra ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Which actor comes to mind when you think of Father Ralph? 1 2 Jan 10, 2018 07:10PM  
Which charactor do you like the most and dislike the most? 24 92 Nov 29, 2017 12:22AM  
the theme of ambition versus love 7 70 Jul 21, 2017 08:03PM  
Around the Year i...: The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough 1 18 Feb 09, 2017 08:12PM  
Mary Carson's Fault? 11 112 Oct 25, 2016 07:03AM  
Do you really think that Ralph never knew that Dane was his son? 10 115 Oct 16, 2016 03:17PM  
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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
More about Colleen McCullough...
“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” 531 likes
“There are no ambitions noble enough to justify breaking someone's heart. ” 290 likes
More quotes…