STATUS: Should have put down.
This book is the reason I follow the 100-page rule. I know that this novel was longlisted for the Man Booker back in 2006, but – goodness – it is exceptionally dry. Dryer than sun-dried tomatoes and far less tasty. Dryer than a desert and far less lively. Dryer than sarcasm and far less entertaining. It was a great struggle to get to the end. Upon completing it (after an exceptionally long epilogue) I considered my time wasted and I fell into a slight, short-lived melancholy. How can a book, openly influenced by the brilliant “Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner” be so exceptionally dull? The promise of a dark, atheist vicar in a quiet Scottish village that meets the Devil was too much for me to resist. And yet, from page-to-page, this dark, atheist vicar becomes more and more boring, uninspired and supercilious. Gideon Mack is, without any shadow of doubt, the biggest let down of a character I have ever come across. I wanted subtle, wicked drama and I got an overtly plain and colossally wasted opportunity. Even when Rev. Mack goes into the hidden cave of a mysterious, eccentric stranger, the cave replete with a secret passage to burning pit of fire, his reaction is tantamount to spotting a robin out of winter time. Oh, and to top it all off, Gideon also runs. For pleasure. The dark, atheist vicar that meets the Devil enjoys long-distance running. I mean… No. This is not on. This is not the pastime of a villain. Robertson’s concept was enthralling; but the result was a mammoth waste of time. I was not impressed and I remain nonplussed.
0.5 out of 5