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True History of the Kelly Gang marks a significant departure in Peter Carey's fictional practice: it is the only narrative in which we are supposed to hear the authentic voice of a genuine historical figure. The novel, as the very title suggests, gives pride of place to reality effects. The sustained use of such effects makes the novel a real tour de force. But it also raises many questions about the novelist's craft. It carries realism to such an extreme that it deconstructs itself. The paper examines the various reality effects used by Carey, such as the historicity of the characters and events, the mimetism of the language, narrative structure and even typography, etc. It then goes on to relate them to the fictional nature of the book, and tries to make sense of the uneasy tension between those two poles. (Author's abstract, 61)