30 January 2009

The Outlander (Gil Adamson)

Below is a review I wrote for The Outlander awhile ago. You could read it and be inspired to grab Adamson's novel, but you probably just need this: Yeah, the heroine's hard to like, the descriptive prose is a bit overdone and Anthony Hopkins would fit into a number of roles when and if this is made into a film; but this book is special and quite possibly brilliant, so get over the other things.
If you need more convincing, the tosh is below.

"Reading The Outlander was like reading the spawn of Cormac McCarthy and Charles Frazier, the perfect blending of a harsh, North American landscape and a cast of flawed, strange and seemingly miraculous characters.
It is 1903 and Mary Boulton is on the run through Alberta, Canada. She is fleeing her brothers-in-law, red-headed twins intent on exacting revenge for the murder of their younger brother. The twins are rarely referred to by name and Mary is more often than not just 'the widow', creating a mysterious aura that surrounds these three characters and permeates throughout the novel. On her journey Mary meets many whose kidness overwhelms and frightens her, but it is William Moreland who reawakens any humanity the widow may have left in her after the death of her family and the harsh existence she has carved out for herself since.
The momentum which Adamson creates to propel us through Mary's story is constant. The reader must make a concerted effort to slow down and savour the breathtaking and unique voice in which Adamson writes. Mary is an eccentric heroine, a pipe-smoking, halllucinating young woman who, although victimised by her demonised brothers-in-law, may ultimately be outside the boundaries of atonement for what she has done.
Exploring themes of isolation and redemption amongst a stark landscape that Adamson describes with refreshingly new eyes, The Outlander is a hard and unforgiving thriller wrought with the delicate and complicated prose of a master storyteller. This is a book that other books have failed to be in the past and authors will strive to emulate in the future."
Rating: 9/10
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