Victoria Jelinek

The Testament of Gideon Mack

The testament of Gideon MackReverend Gideon Mack is a troubled man, an unfaithful husband, and a theological skeptic. For him, the existence of God, the Devil, heaven and hell are on par with the existence of fairies and ghosts. Till he nearly dies and is rescued by someone who seems to be Satan himself.

Inspired by a Scottish folk story, this novel is an intriguing blend of legend, history, memoir, and fiction. The subject matter is compelling and the writing is exceptional. I love the concept of a conversation with the Devil (very Faustian and potentially epically moralistic) borne of the Scots, who are down-to-earth, wry, and irreverent. I also appreciate that while the story is focused on Gideon’s experience in life, death, and resurrection, it also prompts the reader to consider the very nature of faith. All this said – and allowing for the possibility that my mind wandered too easily from the lyrical pacing of the book – I found the tale overly long and felt it was a bit of a chore to finish the last several chapters…


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