Dead Man in Paradise Paperback – Sep 1 2005
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"This is a remarkable blend of regret, reflection and ambiguity whose complexity is reminiscent of a Shakespearean character." (Gavin Miller Catholic Register 2006-01-29)
"As described by Charles Taylor Prize jury, Laurier LaPierre, W.H. New and Jan Walter: 'Part-true-life detective story... and part travelogue through a landscape in political turmoil, Dead Man in Paradise describes an engrossing quest in which the riddles of guilt and innocence, memory and reconciliation, what is revealed and what is withheld lead to an unexpected but thoroughly satisfying conclusion.'" (Jeanine Soodeen Victoria News 2006-03-03)
"It's rare that a work of historical non-fiction grabs a reader from page one, but Dead Man in Paradise does exactly that, holding the reader captive as author J.B. MacKinnon embarks on a remarkable journey to investigate a controversial death in the family." (Quill & Quire 2005-10-01)
"Dead Man in Paradise is as much a post-Cold War take on Latin America as it is a personal journey. Best read with a cold beer and a deep breath." (Toro Magazine 2005-10-01)
"The book is masterful. MacKinnon has the craftsmanship for the challenge. He uses flashback well creates arresting images [and] has enough travel experience to take the bizarre in stride." (Globe & Mail 2005-10-22)
"Precise, sensuous, personal documentary..." (Focus Magazine 2005-12-01)
"Dead Man in Paradise...works as travelogue, thriller, and much-needed antidote to the ways in which history is often buried and forgotten." (Quill & Quire 2005-12-19)
"Dead Man in Paradise is an ambitious work...It aims to go farther than what could be expected of a family memoir, a travel diary or a political history." (Toronto Star 2006-01-22)
"A combination of exceptional English, stylistic elegance, deep thought and subtle perception." (Macleans 2006-02-27)
"There's an amazing arc in Dead Man...It goes from a fog at the beginning, which is MacKinnon's state of mind, to the process of discovery...to reaching a point where he finds that he can go too far...The whole book is a study in growth, of coming to understand the passion of faith and certainty that existed in the mind of his uncle, and the uncertainty which surrounds the information he is getting." (Globe & Mail 2006-02-28)
"One of the most compelling aspects of the book is MacKinnon's nuanced and vivid depiction of contemporary Dominican life." (Literary Review of Canada 2006-04-01)
About the Author
J.B. MacKinnon is a celebrated independent journalist and a contributing editor to the magazines Adbusters, Explore and Vancouver. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Foundation Gold Award for travel writing, he splits his time between Vancouver and a cabin in northern British Columbia. MacKinnon's latest book is The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The thing that blew me away most was that I could feel him struggle with a foreign language in a different country. I have lived overseas as well, and his writing took me right back to the feeling of pressure inside my head, as I tried to understand. As the book progresses, the pressure diminishes. Truly spectacular writing.
I tried to take it slow, to savour the book, but I finally gave up and tore through it in a day and a half. I am going to reread it this winter.
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