Elizabeth's Reviews > The Testament of Gideon Mack

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
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Apr 27, 09

bookshelves: chocolate-club, scotland-fun
Read in April, 2009, read count: 1

"Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2006," it boasts triumphantly on the back cover. If that isn't damning with faint praise, I don't know what is.

My book group liked this but I didn't much. It was well-written, it was set more or less locally for me (which is always a plus), but it was just so dull. It wasn't boring, exactly; I could read it without putting it down, but I wasn't ever engaged with it or pulled into the story.

The Herald review calls it "Hugely enjoyable, very funny, deeply refreshing..." All ten of the book group readers agree that whether or not you like the book, by no conceivable stretch of the imagination is it remotely "funny" (someone suggested that perhaps the reviewer meant "funny-peculiar"?). It's a sombre, rather depressing story of a sombre, depressing fellow. I even shed a few tears at the tragic bits. But... funny? HELLO LITERARY CRITICS OF THE HERALD, WHERE ARE YOUR BRAINS????

I was highly amused by a couple of my fellow readers being taken in by an "anonymous" defense of the lead character on James Robertson's admirably clever website (scotgeog.com), which is devoted to the book.
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