His Bloody Project
Longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize
The year is 1869. After a brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands, a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae is arrested for the crime.
A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but the police and the courts must decide what drove him to murder the local village constable. A...more
But - back to the murders - it can't be a coincidence that he lays Flora out in exactly the same position that he finds Jetta following Lachlan Broad's assault, ie on the kitchen table. So I think a lot of this comes down to his passion for Jetta - which would also explain why he kills the child - also to revenge himself on Mackenzie for making his sister pregnant. Still thinking about it though!(less) (hide spoiler)]
I am not qualified to opine on its historical authenticity, or how well the characters fit into their historical clothes, but it strikes me as "true" - as true as fiction can be - for its remarkable fidelity to its time and place. Its structure also gives it ...more
Here's my review:
I just finished this seconds ago......
DEFINITELY worth more than the $1.99 I paid.
It felt sooo REAL! This book feels like a TRUE STORY! It's NOT! It's a NOVEL!!!
During the trial - at the end of the book -- I felt like I was part of the jury. More than that .... when this book ended, I was still wondering - ...more
ORIGINAL REVIEW FROM FIRST READ
Anytime a book is short-listed fo ...more
His Bloody Project was bloody good! Starting the book, I had no idea I would like it as much as I did. I read most of the book today. The book reads (and feels) like a memoir. This book feels as if it is a "true crime" non-fiction book. This is a novel - but the beauty of it is that it feels SO REAL!!!! This story is told through the "found memoir" of Seventeen year old Roderick "Roddy"Macrae and trial transcripts, the coroner's report, the psychiatrist's report and court testimony of v ...more
Graeme Macrae Burnet is a 2015 Contraband publication.
I have had this book in my TBR pile for several years. In keeping with my project of reading ‘books everyone else has read, but me’ and getting a head start on my new years resolution of tackling my massive TBR list, I finally got round to reading it.
1869- Scottish Highlands
Seventeen-year old Roderick Macrae has been arrested for committing three brutal murders. While ...more
"The accounts presented here contain various discrepancies, contradictions and omissions, but taken together they form a tapestry of one of the most fascinating cases in Scottish legal history."
Presented in the fashion of a true crime case, His Bloody Project is in fact a fictional, historical and literary ‘mystery’ novel if you will. It is an exceedingly well-done and riveting account of the gruesome murders committed by Roderick Macrae, or Roddy, in 1869 in the small village of Culdu ...more
The 2016 Man Booker shortlist includes six books total; among those is Graeme MaCrae Burnet’s “His Bloody Project.”
In the Highlands of Scotland, 1869, is the village of Culduie where three rather brutal murders takes place amidst a landscape of despair, and general misery among the masses. A few chosen ones enjoy a less harsh lifestyle, but for young Roderick John Macrae, life’s few joys disappeared when his mother died in childbirth, leaving himself, his slightly older sister, twin br ...more
What's beautiful about this book is the way it was put together with Roddy's memoir, written while jailed, ...more
So therefore, may I say, without any further un ...more
Events unfold in 1869, deep in the Scottish Highlands. Roderick Macrae, a young crofter from the village of Culduie, commits a brutal triple murder. The book is ...more
When the longlist for the Booker Prize came out I thought His Bloody Project to be the most interesting title there. I was intrigued that the jurors have chosen a historical mystery, even more that the book made it to the Shortlist. After reading it I understood why it was chosen.
Technically, this is not murder mystery as we know from the start who is the murderer as he confessed. The mystery is in the reason for that person’s crime and the uniqueness comes from th ...more
This novel brilliantly seats the reader as detective (or perhaps juror) on the savage, gruesome gouging and murders of the town bully and two of his children in a small farm community on the high coast of Scotland. It's a blend of narrative from the killer and statements to the constable, medical reports and trial transcript, portrayed as a recently discovered manuscript. The issue is not whether he committed the crime but his me ...more
Set in the 19th century, a Scottish wanker kills some poor Scottish bastards and goes on trial. That’s the story.
The author’s ponderous, tedious introduction to the book should’ve been a warning sign ...more
The Line(s) - “The purpose of the window is, I imagine, less to afford the occupant of the cell a view than to allow a little air to circulate. Nevertheless, in the absence of other diversions, it is surprising how much entertainment can be gleaned from watc ...more
In September 1869, Roderick (Roddy) Macrae is held for the brutal murders of 3 members of the Mackenzie family – Lachlan Mackenzie, his daughter Flora and his infant son Donnie. The flow of the storyline is original, absorbing and really well crafted considering it’s presented as statements from neighbours, reports from what we could loosely call a criminal psychologist, and primarily a memoir from Roddy Macrae.
The story of harsh frugal daily life for Roddy and his family in Culduie, i ...more
According to the Borges-like found-documents of His Bloody Project, rural Scotland in the 19th century was a society of serfs as oppressed as those of contemporary Russia or India. The life of the common man, from the provision of most basic physical necessity to the enforcement of law, was determined by the interests of the laird, and his administrative henchmen. The estate over which they ruled was the size of a small country and included every inch of ground, every hovel ...more
His Bloody Project - Graeme Macrae Burnet So gripping and atmospheric, a clever psychological thriller
I would never have picked up this book had it not been chosen for this month's book club read as neighter the cover or the blurb appealed to me and while I rarely enjoy Man booker prize winners, I loved this one for its cleverness, athmosphere, and writing style.
The year is 1869. A ...more
In 1869, there was a brutal triple murder carried out by one Roderic "Roddy" Macr ...more
In the spring of 2014, I embarked on a project to find out a little about my grandfather, Donald 'Tramp' Macrae, who was born in 1890 in Applecross, two or three miles north of Culduie. It was in the course of my research at the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness that I came across some newspaper clippings describing the trial of Roderick Macrae, and with the assistance of Anne O'Hanlon, the archivist there, discovered the manuscript which comprises th...more
“One man can no more see into the mind of another than he can see inside a stone.”
Indeed I say.
The author begins with an introduction about his research into family history and the discovery of documents recounting a brutal triple murder in the 1869 Scottish Highlands…perpetrated by a relative perhaps? Very clever! Because nothing in the pages is what it seems to be.
It’s clear from the start that young Roderick Macrae did the deed but what exactly happened and why? Page by page the reader is ...more
Rodderick Macrae paints a picture of naivety, innocence and trustworthiness as he tells the story of his life and the events that led up to the murder of three fellow villagers.
I found the start of the book slow going but the further I read the more compelling I found the story and the more I started to second guess my own thoughts.
Burnet wants us, the reader, to make our own conclusions concerning the characters’ actions and motivations. We don’t need to be spoon fe ...more
Is young Roddy insane? The answer to this question will determine whether he lives or dies. You see, he has taken three lives in the small farming village of Culdie, Scotland in the year 1869. There is no doubt that he is the murder. He has freely admitted to being responsible for the killings upon showing up at a neighbor's house. He's covered head to foot in blood. He carries with him the murder weapons.
Roddy's life has not be ideal or easy ...more
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He has been writing since he was a teenager. His first b ...more