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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly, scarily, nostalgic..., 5 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: A Tale Etched In Blood And Hard Black Pencil (Paperback)
I bought this book on a whim in a charity shop, seduced by the bizarre title. One page in, no, make that a couple of paragraphs in and I'm seriously thinking I've wasted £1, I'm never going to finish this book. The problem? Scottish accents! They're bad enough coming out of people's mouths, but at least you can infer much from body-language and tone and if that fails, ask the speaker to repeat themselves. You don't understand them the second time either, but at least the exasperated look on their faces is worth it!

Anyway, heavy Scottish accents, on paper?

I have now given it five, yes FIVE stars! I grew to enjoy the accent as my brain and inner voice started to work in conjunction. The story is interestingly told. In the present day, there are about six characters all related to a couple of murders, be it investigating, being accused of or friends or relatives of them. As the tale unfolds, you get multi-character flashbacks that take you through the school journey of around twenty different people! Don't worry, its not confusing and it can be followed.

Its these flashbacks that have led me to give the book a five. I can relate to those flashbacks. I was one of those kids (Martin). I can see in all the other characters similarities to many people that I went to school and if truth be told, I'd forgotten about. I recognised the angst. The politics. The fear of being bullied. The fear of being different and the conflicting struggle to be an individual. The school is rubbish and it is in a rubbish area, just like my school. Whilst I would never want to relive it, it was hugely enjoyable following all these characters.

In the end, it's all brought together neatly and elegantly.

This book is a great read. And it'll teach you Scottish.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Sep 2013 05:20:02 BDT
happybooks says:
This is indeed a great read but not all Scottish people speak as they do in the book so it is a bit disingenuous to say it will teach you Scottish - or is your tongue firmly in cheek?!
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