Seth Franzmann has written a review of `The Fundamentals of New Caledonia,' where he says my novel is about the Polynesian island of New Caledonia.
In fact my novel is about a seventeenth century Scottish colony in Central America.
Evidently Seth Franzman has not read this novel.
David Nicol - author of `The Fundamentals of New Caledonia.'
Here are some real reviews and comments on THE FUNDAMENTALS OF NEW CALEDONIA
'David Nicol takes one of the great "what if?" moments of Scottish history, the disastrous Darien venture, and pulls the reader into this bungling, back-stabbing episode through the experiences of a time-travelling Edinburgh lad press-ganged into the service of the Scots Trading Company. The time-travel element, together with a sophisticated linguistic interaction between contemporary and late 17th-century Scots, signals that this is no simple reconstruction of a historical incident. The economic and social problems faced by the citizens of "New Caledonia", battered by powerful international forces and plagued by conflict between public need and private greed, are still around 300 years on.
'Nicol's use of the Scots language manages to be both pre- and post-modern. Like some of those Darien adventurers, this thrawn language refuses to lie down and die. Rather as Matthew Fitt has done in his futuristic novel But n Ben A-Go-Go, but in a very different style, Nicol uses Scots to explore the further zones of human engagement with the world. The result is both intriguing and challenging.'
JAMES ROBERTSON Author of 'The Fanatic' and 'Joseph Knight'
'New Caledonia is a breathtaking book, sublimely streaming with adrenaline and inventiveness... a work of remarkable intellectual and imaginative scope... David Nicol's first novel represents a paradigm in Scottish writing.'
JENNIE RENTON Editor of 'Scottish Book Collector'
'And when we consider 'new Scottish' writing such as David Nicol's 'New Caledionia', Alice Thompson's 'Pharos' or James Robertson's 'Joseph Knight' ... it appears as if some kind of internationalisation is taking place. 'Scottish' writers, broadly defined, are grappling with Scotland's relationship to the world. It is as if post-devolution Scottish culture is attempting to locate itself afresh, particularly with relation to its imperial past.'
ROBERT ALAN JAMIESON - in Bashabi Fraser's 'Tartan and Turban'
'David Nicol's debut novel pressgangs the reader, along with its time-unstuck narrator, into an imagined experience of Scotland's Darien venture told in a narrative which, after deliberate swings of the linguistic compass, settles to give an enjoyable and relatively plausible impression of seventeenth century Scots.
'One can forgive the novel's apparent fudges and inconsistencies for they seem built into the design. By consigning an Edinburgh jobseeker (1992) to a sharp dose of Training for Work on board Unicorn (1698), Nicol gives himself license to exploit anachronism, juxtapose post- and pre-Enlightenment sensibilities and meld registers. He thereby achieves a range of linguistic, intellectual and psychological effects both idiosyncratic and entertaining. The surrealised vision of our nightmare 'future' is but one of the many strange payoffs. The dislocating inclusion of Star Trek episodes, sleekitly paralleling propagandas of idealised imperialism, is another.
'The device of directly placing 'one of us' as incognito observer of the past happens to make for a particular tantalising illusion of closeness to the original dramatis personae. At the same time, it highlights the ironic alienness of our north European ancestors. By contrast, the Cuna Indians they encounter and frequently dismiss as 'savage' have a presence far more familiar and 'contemporary' to our eyes.
'This novel full of strangeness is not a history, yet somewhere in that peculiar fabric lies the key to what 'will always' make 'Darien' a disaster.'
COLIN DONATTI - review in 'Saltire' the Saltire Society magazine