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Banana Pier Paperback – 1 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (1 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780880146
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780880143
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,538,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Alex Chisholm. Well sometimes I am. One of the characters in my thriller is similar in that respect. That's where similarities cease.

Take a look at the cover of my novel. That's Banana Pier you see sticking out into the North Sea at Aberdeen harbor. Can you guess why it's called that?

Aberdeen's the UK's oil and gas city. It's in Scotland. Scotland is a small country some of you might have heard about. It produced the singer Annie Lennox and there's a connection. She and I appear to share relations from the tiny mountain village of Braemar. They went by the name of McHardy. One of the guys you'll meet in the book is a McHardy, though he spells his name Mac. But then he's good with names.

This is not a book about Scotland, although in a way it is. Then it starts to travel. Hold onto your seats as when the story takes off - it really goes.

Let me know what you think.


http://alexchisholmscotland.wordpress.com

Product Description

About the Author

Alex was born in the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands but lives in Aberdeenshire. A former History teacher, Alex researches and writes historical articles. Banana Pier is Alex's first novel and is the result of an eavesdropped conversation between oil executives and a fascination with politics.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grant Ritchie on 27 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
This first novel is a thrilling, hypnotic and thought provoking production. Switching convincingly from Aberdeen to Belfast and Moscow, there is more than an undercurrent of rage against the inhumanity of the state machine (of whatever type) grinding on and protecting its perceived interests regardless of the human cost.

Sharp research, Doric vernacular, and clever plotting are turned into a work of real depth by the quality of the writing and the sense of place. Characters are multi layered, and identities are adopted, inherited and exploited to add a dark existential sense to what is much, much more than a 'run of the mill' thriller. Who do we trust? Where are our sympathies best applied in a post cold war landsape of change and uncertainty? Alex Chisolm poses some unsettling questions and challenges the preconceptions of the liberal reader. Great stuff, let's hope there is more to come from this startling new writer.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very unusual book, the first chapter is written mainly in the Doric and whilst I am not from Aberdeen I understood every word.
The only bit that put me off was the flow of the Doric was spoilt with too many English words popping up.
The story is set in Russia and Aberdeen and having an interest in Russia I was familiar with many of the place names and one of the characters (Adam Menelaws) who features in the story.
The use of the Doric is a good one as it,like Russian is very expressive and reminded me of my visit to a number of museums in St. Petersburg where the audio guides you can hire have a translation,spoken in a very wimpish English accent.
I tried to explain to my Russian friends that A Scottish voice is what they should have as it would convey the pride and the passion that Russians have. Another reviewer makes a very good point that it is better read when time allows longers sessions rather than a few pages at a time.
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By hb on 24 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a real page turner. Set in Aberdeen and Russia with occasional flashbacks to Ireland and Germany the plot is fast paced and intricate. Not one to read as a few pages at a time, needs to be read in chunks to keep track of all the characters. I found the doric at the beginning a little hard to read at the start and I live in Aberdeen, but you get used to it after a few pages and there is less and less of it as the book progresses.

A very enjoyable read and hard to believe it is a first novel. Hope there is going to be another one.
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Format: Paperback
"Banana Pier" features a labyrinthine plot involving corruption
in politics and business, allied to the British Government's
dirty war in Northern Ireland, and one of its' sleeper agents in the
declining Soviet Empire of the 1990's.

It travels from Aberdeen in Scotland, via Belfast - with small diversions
in South Africa and West Germany - to the streets of Moscow and Leningrad,
with stories of arms deals, the rise of the extremist right
and gangsterism in Eastern Europe. Along the way there are a wealth of characters,
some on the edges, some pulling the strings and others in way over their
heads.

At the centre, the book's main characters are Robert Coulthard,
described as a "hero with dirty hands" and his long-time
military handler, Roderick Bell - a twisted patriot whose entire family
is mired deep in Britain's diplomatic and military dirty tricks.

The plot is heavy with suspicion and paranoia with enough well
researched historical and political references to satisfy
the most demanding of conspiracy theorists.

Coulthard is the key. A man of many identities, who stores secrets, stretching
from his childhood to his involvment in British intelligence
machinations in Ulster and Gorbachev's Russia.

The dialogue, like the story, crackles and sparkles.

People die in mysterious circumstances, others are killed out of hand - all
to maintain various lies some of which, ever so slowly, begin to rise to the surface.

It really is an intriguing tale filled with great insights to people and
places in 1990's communist Russia and well worthy of any thriller reader's time.
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