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The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson

The Testament of Gideon Mack

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Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 28 March 2007.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2006.
Lyrical writing with a great storyline that takes its starting point from the discovery of an ancient manuscript. It’s a novel that can be read on two levels – firstly, as a compelling, incredibly imaginative and entertaining thriller and secondly, on a deeper level, it’s immensely thought-provoking given the religious implications for the characters. Longlisted for the Booker and deservedly so, this is a novel you’ll dwell on long after you’ve finished it, which for me is the sign of a good book. A real star is born.

If you like James Robertson you might also like to read books by Martin Davies, Michel Faber and Jed Rubenfeld.


The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson

A strange but compelling manuscript, supposedly the memoir of a Church of Scotland minister who has gone missing, arrives on the desk of an Edinburgh publisher. It tells the story of Gideon Mack, a son of the manse raised in chilly austerity and dominated by a joyless father, who claims to have met the Devil. Mixing fantasy, legend and history, The Testament of Gideon Mack is an ambitious, mesmerising novel which combines superlative storytelling with immense imaginative power.


Overwhelmingly compassionate and thought-provoking . . . In the hands of great writers the unlikeliest stories are generally the most rewarding -- Irvine Welsh * The Guardian * Robertson is a true descendant of James Hogg - this is a superb piece of Scottish Gothic * The Times * A rich novel of ideas about faith, Scotland and the ways in which fictions shape our lives * Sunday Telegraph * Artful and lyrical . . . you are under the influence of a master storyteller . . . this book promises to become a Scottish masterpiece * Sunday Herald * Robertson is a true descendant of James Hogg - this is a superb piece of Scottish Gothic * The Times *

About the Author

James Robertson

In James Robertson, Scotland has a writer of the highest literary quality and cultural acuity. He recently served as the Scottish Parliament’s first Writer in Residence and his second novel, Joseph Knight, won the two major Scottish literary prizes in 2003/4 – the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year. He has published two novels, stories, poetry, anthologies, compiled a Scottish Dictionary of Quotations and is also editor of an educational Scots imprint. James lives in Angus.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th January 2007


James Robertson

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Penguin Books


400 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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