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Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 10 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (May 10 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385666535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385666534
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.5 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Troy Parfitt TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 1 2013
Format: Hardcover
Living in Scotland, I got homesick for Maritime Canada and went to Blackwell’s to see if they had any books by David Adams Richards. They had one, in the crime section, Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul. I mentioned it should have been in literature. “No, it’s in our system as murder mystery,” the clerk said.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
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 finish. I hope this author keeps on creating these masterpieces for years to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 8 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Adams Richards is one of those novelists who seems to keep writing the same novel over and over. It seems, though, that this is because he is trying to get it better every time, rather than because he can't come up with good ideas. Richards wrestles with old ideas in his book and considers how they apply to the world as it is and to people as they are. This book is based around the tragic death of a native at a shipyard, which appears to be suspicious. The local reserve, the press and others in the community all try to use the event to their own ends, which most tragically results in a lack of interest in the truth. These people are never caricatures, though, and that's where Richards' experience as a writer really shines through. Ultimately these are all human beings, trying to live what seems to be a good life, in the world as it really is.
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