The Pursuit of William Abbey
'MESMERIC, TERRIFYING AND WONDERFUL' M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts
From the award-winning and bestselling author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and 84K comes a powerful new novel that examines how the choices we make can haunt us forever . . .
South Africa, 1884. William Abbey, an English doctor, watches white colonists lynch a Zulu...more
So, points to the author for the clever story and the way it makes the reader think hard about what is going on all the time. Points too for the amazing amount of research which must have gone into all the ...more
I was very excited to have the opportunity to review this title from the moment it appeared on my radar.
Like an endless sea, this remarkable work of fiction does not cease to ever end in scope and engagement as one reads through the 400+ pages. Hopes, dreads, dreams, and desires of a lifetime of every facete imaginable will be touched on in this journey of The Pursuit of William Abbey. Not a country in the world, not a shore unexplored, no historical events within its premise missed, ...more
‘The Great War had been coming for such a long time. It was born in the hearts of our ruling men the day they were held up in the crib and told they were blessed with a greatness that others could not share. It was nurtured when they saw their greatness challenged, and sought some way to prove their strength. Now it eats us whole.’
The Pursuit of William Abbey is a powerful historical fiction and also part fantasy novel by the award winning author, Claire North. As I’ve never read any ...more
William Abbey in Africa, did not save a child from the mob. The child died and the mother cursed him that the shadow of her child would pursue him throughout his life. If the shadow caught William, someone close to him would die. And William needed to be on the move in any mode of transportation. The shadow would come after him at a steady rate. And William in essence became the ...more
“I know the truth of men’s hearts, and what I know is that they are right, every single one of them. They live within the power of their own rightness, and anyone who disagrees with them can only be wrong, and being wrong, they are therefore less. That is what I know, and it terrifies me.”
The Pursuit of William Abbey is the sixth stand-alone novel by award-winning British author, Claire North. Banished to South Africa by his wealthy father, Dr William Abbey is (poorly) practicing medicine is ...more
In 1917, France, against the backdrop of the Great War. In a French hospital for wounded soldiers with cannon and gunfire reverberating outside and enemy forces closing in Dr William Abbey, over a few nights and with Langa, his shadow ever approaching and drawing nearer recounts his story to Sister Ellis.
Abbey’s story starts in South Africa, Natal, 1884, in a small and dusty ...more
I’m convinced: it’s literally impossible for Claire North to write a bad book. I think she’s just genuinely incapable of anything less than excellence. When she writes a sentence, it just comes out good. Every single time. Of this I am certain. Alternatively, there’s the much more mundane and likely scenario: she’s very, very good at proofing, has a ...more
Claire North's books are always extremely intriguing. The premise sucks you in and the writing is spectacular, both introspective and intelligent. Although the premises of the previous books I have read by the author have been more complex than this was one, I was more confused by the events in the Pursuit of William Abbey than any others.
William Abbey is a doctor in the 19th century and in Africa, he evidences a horrendously cruel event of white men burning a black boy alive, and he ...more
The child’s mother, after seeing her sons last breath curses William, the child’s shadow will follow him for the rest of his life…..if it catches up to him, someone he loves will die.
William starts travelling to keep ahead of the shadow, he can also hear people’s inner truthful thoughts and has no choice but to then speak them out loud. He’s now a truth-teller and as a result various ...more
"And I knew at last what I had wanted to know since I had met her: that there was no such thing as simple as the storyteller’s love in her, that love was a tangled measure of a thousand different things, and that sometimes there was a word called love that she knew and understood, and then sometimes it was gone, and she could not master it, and being unmastered, she longed to let it go, and then thinking of it, it came again."
Another beautifully written but structurally chaotic ...more
The story intrigued me from the start with an interesting opening and I soon found myself drawn into the story. The writing is beautiful and very vivid with some fabulous descriptions of the places that ...more
In the opening chapters set in Jardin du Pansee, just miles from the frontline in 1917, we meet Dr William Abbey at a French hospital as he recounts his story to Sister Ellis. The dead and dying all around this is a brutal introduction to the reality of ...more
When he is cut from the tree, unrecognisable his mother holds him while he still fights to breathe. When she ...more
…mankind loves to be sure. To know. ...more
This isn't a plot driven book. The story is rather slight and meandering and in the end nothing much happens. The point of the book is for Claire North to explore the inhumanity of humans to other humans and how we justify it to ourselves. In this respect it feels much ...more
Claire North is back to her Touch and First Fifty Lives of Harry August best. A true chameleon of a book that is part historical fiction, part thriller, part science fiction, part horror all to combine into a very frightening and thoroughly enjoyable novel.
The story was fast paced, (appropriate given the plot), and rollicking although not exactly fun. My only small issue was the characters were a little flimsy, but forgivable given the density of the plot.
Claire North is actually Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated young-adult novel author whose first book, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was just 14 years old. She went on to write seven more successful YA novels.
Claire North is a pseudonym for adult fantasy books written by Catherine Webb, who also writes under the pseudonym Kate Griffin.