Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 25 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Sick Heart River (Kindle Edition)
This was Buchan's last novel, written on his death bed. It recounts Sir Edward Leithen's final adventure. Leithen has been told he is dying. He doesn't want to go out quietly. He must die standing up. So he decides to go to New York to try to find a missing man. From there he moves to Canada where the trail takes him to the frozen North. He and his guide trek across impossible terrain in their efforts to catch up with their quarry.

It is an adventure story with a difference. There are no villains. Leithen is pitted against nature, not against man. But, more importantly, he is coping with his own imminent death. His faith is tested almost beyond endurance, but it becomes stronger and stronger as he battles on. I have to say that I found his Scottish protestantism hard going at times. There seems to be no place for Christ in his religion: all is God. Jesus is never mentioned. And Christ's promise of eternal life is ignored. Leithen believes in God, believes He created the world and all that is in it, but has no opinion on whether there may be an after-life. Yet, despite that pessimistic faith, he does, gradually, come to understand the importance of Christ's new commandment (though He is not credited with it) that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.

I must not ruin the story for you. Suffice it to say that, should you read this remarkable book, you will read of exceptional heroism. And your own faith, perhaps not in God but in your fellow human beings, is bound to grow and flourish (and you will also read a jolly good yarn).

Charles
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Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 652