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Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul [Paperback]

David Adams Richards
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2013
Searing, brilliant, and tension-filled, this is a foreboding tale about truth, lies and justice--quintessential David Adams Richards.
     One fine sunny day in 1985, seventeen-year-old Hector Penniac, a Micmac boy from a local First Nations reserve, begins his first real job to earn money for university: placing logs in the hold of a cargo ship down at the wharf. By noon, Hector is dead. And his neighbour, a young white man named Roger Savage, is accused of killing him.
     Taking this shocking incident as his starting point, and demonstrating his justly celebrated insight into the hearts and minds of diverse characters, including those most often silenced and misunderstood, master storyteller David Adams Richards subtly and precisely unravels a complex tale about crime and punishment, truth and lies, power and justice, that is at once an addictive mystery, a nuanced portrait of a close-knit community in crisis, and an illumination of some of the still-unhealed wounds at the heart of our country.

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Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul + Crimes Against My Brother
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Product Description


“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)

“. . . 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

About the Author

DAVID ADAMS RICHARDS' most recent novel, The Lost Highway, was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2008. The Friends of Meager Fortune won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book (Canada and the Caribbean). His novel River of the Brokenhearted received immense critical acclaim. Mercy Among the Children won the 2000 Giller Prize and was nominated for the Governor General's Award and the Trillium Award. He is the author of the celebrated Miramichi trilogy: Nights Below Station Street, winner of the Governor General's Award; Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace, winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award; and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read Jan. 1 2013
By Troy Parfitt TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great David Adams Richards book Feb. 11 2012
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong novel about real human problems June 8 2011
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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