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Book review: The Testament of Gideon Mack 
4th-Feb-2010 02:37 pm
SweetZombieAvatar
James Robertson's The Testament of Gideon Mack must have been one of those paperbacks I picked up in a 3-for-2 offer and then had waiting in the "to-read" pile for a while, I didn't really know what to expect from it but ended up really enjoying it. Not a book I couldn't wait to pick up to see what happened next, but one of those that when I did pick it up I steadily got through. It's also a hard novel to categorise - essentially it's a musing on faith and the lack of it, as after his mysterious death, a manuscript is discovered by Gideon Mack, the minister of a small Scottish town, who had recently gained notoriety for claiming to have met the devil himself. Actually he doesn't relate this story until near the end, and instead we have the full life story of a lifelong atheist who regardless became a Church of Scotland minister. For years he preaches to a congregation who have no problem with him, but once he does acquire faith thanks to his supernatural encounter, this is of course what discredits him. The novel is topped and tailed by notes from other characters, which makes for a nice contrast in how other people see this "madman," compared to the reasonable tones the reader gets for most of the novel from the man himself. A fairly low-key story I enjoyed more than I expected to.
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