Angus Mcfarlane's Reviews > The Religion

The Religion by Tim Willocks
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, thriller, reviewed
Read from September 18 to 27, 2011

I've been asking myself for a while, how much of a book do I need to have read to know it will be one I enjoy. In this one, I was quickly engaged (although it felt familiar, unfortunately) and this remained the case for the remainder of the book. Although the pace steadied, the characters and the plot remained intriguing, and I like to think I was gaining a picture of a period and place I've not knwon about before.
I liked the inter-play between the various religious positions - there was no shying from either the good or the bad of the Catholic, Islamic and agnostic perspectives. It reminded me of the parable of the good samaritan: "who is my neighbour?" Jesus was asked, to which he gave the answer "the one who is neighbourly to you (and not necessarily the fellow religionist or compatriot)". Each of the main characters is depicted with redeemable flaws - messed up yet in their own way good-hearted - each good samaritans in spite of their faults.
I also wondered whether there were technological snippets being brought into the story - the manufacture of steels, the beginning of the (female) nursing profession, possibly others.
The book is not for the faint hearted or under-aged! The description of war's brutality and gore is fairly intense, as are some of the amorous liasons, although I felt the intent was honesty rather than titillation or cheap shock.

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message 1: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat Kiddles That's so funny, I almost shut the book for good after the first 20 pages. It's so raw! I guess I'm not used to reading about the kind of brutality Willocks writes about. I did finish it, but I think that's more a reflection of my stubbornness to finish what I start reading than an indication that I enjoyed myself.

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