of Gideon Mack
published by Hamish Hamilton, is available from all good bookstores in the real world and online.
For another interview with James Robertson and notes on The Testament of Gideon Mack for reading groups visit The VP Book Club.
There appear to be influences of Malcolm Lowry's 1947 novel Under the Volcano. The Day of the Dead is a vital element of Lowry's novel and a main character ends up in a ravine. The dead dog thrown after him contrasts with the the live dog trying to scrabble to safety in the last paragraph of Gideon Mack. There seem more subtle influences than these but who can tell what is the case?
Gideon watched 'Batman' on a Saturday afternoon? Most of us watched it on a Saturday evening. But what does such trivia matter when a man's soul is the issue?
i have read the book and i think that Gideon had multiple sclerosis – the uncontrollable arm fits, the leg, the conversing with the devel, the unexplained and somewhat deviant sexual urges all point to indicators of the disease. some bits do make sense others don't but i enjoyed this book and will look for no further meaning.
The message for me seems to be that loyalty to the Devil breeds truthfulness whilst loyalty to God breeds deceit. Funny how we sceptics still honour them with initial caps. Just in case we get a slap on the back of the napper.
James Robertson must have an intimate knowledge of the fears and doubts of most, if not all of God's people. He combines and elevates same, at the same time compressing it all into a Steampot, about to explode, but when? Or is it If?
The background, allegedly in Scotland, Mother of mothers of folklore and Secrets...perfect.
Thoroughly enjoyable, with an abundance of Life-truths, most not even having to be dramatized, as Life is Life.
Underplayed, yes, as it just enhances the pleasure as well as uneasiness, of the reader, believe you me.
And Doubt, an all enhancing, hindering demon, reads this tale with one, producing questions, some not answerable for the time being.
S.S., County Durham
Having subsequently stumbled across reviews of the said memoir, I would rather discount the issue of mental illness in favour of Gideon having actually met with the Devil – much more fun, and a prospect that allows us to entertain the potential existence of a force of good, also.
This is going to sound quite silly, but I was wondering why it is Gideon's LEFT arm that twitches, not his right. Because the right is associated with the Devil I assumed that it had been his right, until I read the book again. I guess the significance that I read in the arm was not really there?
I have just finished reading the book, this may sound silly, is this book based on real events or is it fiction?
I did begin the book thinking this was a factual book and was intrigued but by the end was left unsure if this was fictional or not – I decided to ‘google’ it and found this website – I am now even more intrigued and would love to one day visit Monimaskit (if it really does exist).
Hello there, i actually read this book twice and have tried and tried to decide if i as a reader had to or wanted to believe if there is any true in this story.
I just can not believe that this book has not sold more than da vinci code. What dan brown done with the jesus and mary m situation i personally believe that james robertson has done with mack and the devil is so much better.
When i read this book for the first time i sort of thought okay excellent book but a little far fetched, so i thought what the hell (no pun intended) i need to read this again , it was only the second time of reading that it made me think that this book is telling the truth or is it fiction but the detail is so good the characters were so believable . Oh i have to admit there was one particular church elder who i do wish mr mack had flattened him.
I have believe in me that there is some thing after we leave this life and this book can only help people believe in that the truth is most murders or deaths in this world are cause thru what people believe it seems to me that god and the devil sit and laugh at the idiots of this world.
C.E., Tyne & Wear
It sent shivers down my spine and warmed and saddened my heart in equal measure.
Mr Robertson what are you up to now? Have you seen him lately?
Monimaskit? Forget the GPS location: there must be many small towns where the ‘many-masked’ folk don't quite reveal all.
The location is based on a mix-up between Laurencekirk and neighbouring Inverbervie. There is even the Gannochy Gorge just by Fettercairn.
I visited Aberfeldy some time ago and can’t help but recognise ‘the black jaws’ as the Birks of Aberfeldy, even down to the bridge. Does anyone else see this?
I have no view on the whereabouts of Monimaskit, but I am confident that Ochtermill is Bridge of Allan. Moreover, I suspect that Gideon's father must have ministered at the former Holy Trinity, now Bridge of Allan Parish Church rather than Chalmers Church. This is because of his father's bicycle. The parish of Chalmers was that of upper Bridge of Allan and the declivities involved would have made a minister think twice about a bicycle. It is impossible to maintain a dignified demeanour when cycling uphill at a 45 degree angle. The Holy Trinity parish, by contrast, is almost completely flat.
C.H., LenzieMonimaskit is Montrose
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