Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 10 2011
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LONGLISTED - 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
“Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul. . . .finds David Adams Richards at the top of his game. . . . [the novel] unfolds with the weight and significance of an Old Testament story, anchored by a narrative voice that is at once prophetic and detached, rooted in a strongly oral storytelling tradition. . . . It is not a subtle approach; it’s a deceptively complicated one, and tremendously effective. The novel sparks with an immediacy and power that is rare to find in contemporary fiction: these are old questions and timeless concerns given face and voice by one of Canada’s finest writers.”
—Robert J. Wiersema, Victoria Times-Colonist
“David Adams Richards’ 14th novel brilliantly scours the conscience of a community. . . . [He] moves deftly between the multiple voices and points of view . . . [and] never fails to capture the right details to a scene. . . . That Richards can consistently bring such potentially mawkish figures to vivid life is just one reason to keep reading him.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)
“In a stark, stunning and profound new novel, New Brunswick’s David Adams Richards (Mercy Among the Children, Nights Below Station Street) exposes Canada’s rawest nerve. . . . the construction of this novel is brilliantly conceived, and flawlessly executed. This is Richards at the height of his powers, which is very high indeed. The word masterpiece is not too strong.”
—National Post (Donna Bailey Nurse)
“In his masterful new novel, David Adams Richards shows why it matters who explains the complicated relationships between whites and Natives in his beloved Miramichi. . . . Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul is remarkable for a tightly woven, multi-layered plot and the minute detailing of a way of life that is disappearing in New Brunswick.”
—National Post (John Racovali)
“[Incidents in the Life of] Markus Paul is a solid offering with timely insight from one of Canada’s most acclaimed storytellers.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“. . . the searing emotion and stirring probity we have come to expect of an author fighting to stave off anachronism’s claim to right and wrong, good and evil. . . . the characters themselves, who could have been frozen into moral archetypes . . . attain a welcome level of complexity. . . . Richards’s larger picture includes a moral lesson at once topical and timeless.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Delving into race, politics, corruption, police work, media and the power of public opinion, the novel is a superb rendering of our propensity to confuse charisma with wisdom and judgment with justice.”
—London Free Press
“David Adams Richards' latest thrills with small-town suspense and mystery. . . . Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul is a page-turning thriller delivered by Richards in his finest form yet. The who, why and hows surrounding Hector's death, and the deaths that follow, pile up like pulp logs that drop on the reader's head in a series of stunning surprises.”
About the Author
David Adams Richards’ most recent novel, The Lost Highway, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His novel The Friends of Meager Fortune won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, while Mercy Among the Children, also a novel, won the 2000 Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Book Award. Richards is also the author of the celebrated “Miramichi Trilogy” (Nights Below Station Street, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award; Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace, winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award; and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down), as well as the recent bestselling nonfiction book, God Is.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Richards presents a few ideas to consider about power dynamics. The first significant theme is that identifying a person of privilege is difficult. Racial disputes between whites and First Nations people drive the book. People from both groups are victims and both are perpetrators of abuse. The story Richards presents is that anyone with power can manipulate people. This book is full of tragedy. Much of the tragedy begins with people thinking they are doing the right thing as they fight for change. Instead, villainy escalates to create new villains. A second theme that Richards presents is that it is important for privileged people to stand alongside the weak; there is not a clear formula for doing so, however. Even identifying who is weak - who deserves the support of the privileged - is complex and Richards shows that the consequences of misidentification can be dire. It is possible for a powerful but just person to become a tyrant without even knowing it.
As a "social justice Christian" and Maritimer, I found Richards' book to be a sobering warning.Read more ›
In a sense, Incidents is a murder mystery, a genre the author says he never intended when setting out to write it. The premise appears simple: an effete First Nations boy in Miramachi, New Brunswick gets a union card and starts work loading lumber in the hold of a Dutch ship. He dies on his first day of work, crushed by a load of poorly-hooked wood. Or so it seems. The narrator offers clues and possibilities indicating that something is wrong with this analysis. These indicators punctuate a story revolving around the man who becomes the primary suspect, the people who wish to see him condemned, and the people who believe he’s innocent.
Welcome to the world of one Canada’s greatest storytellers. David Adams Richards, now with a stockpile of awards and several film adaptations, has been writing about the lives of so-called ordinary people in rural New Brunswick for four decades. His novels comprise polished-up social realism with elements of morality plays. The tone is Biblical in places, folksy in others, luminously descriptive, and perennially compelling. The people and places are raw and real, and the author employs the Maritime vernacular, habitually for dialogue, occasionally for narration and description. On trial is human corruption. Doing the right thing seems easy, so why is it so rare?
I’m a fan of David Adams Richards because I admire his story telling and find his tales relatable.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - once again I couldn't set it down - for some reason the interaction between all the characters was superb and kept my interest from start to... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2012 by avid reader
On a warm June day in 1985 a young First Nation man dies in the hold of a pulp cargo ship: dropped logs have crushed Hector Penniac and buried him. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2012 by Friederike Knabe