16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
It's amazing that such a fantastic book could be under my nose for so long yet I hadn't even given it a second though. A friend mentioned it to me and I said I had never read it. She told me to give it a go but to read the middle first, then the beginning anf finally the last part. Strange instructions I thought but it did make sense.
This book is startling in every sense of the word. So much so it's truly difficult to put into words. Robert Wringham is the main characters. Absolutley convinced of his own perfection having been informed that he was saved. No matter how atrocious his crimes, he was gauranteed a place in heavan. As Robert heads to pray in celebration of this he meets Gil-Martin whom we assume to be the devil. Interestingly to those who have read the novel, Gil-Martin in an inverted version of M'Gill the boy whom Robert tormented in school because he was more sucessful that Wringham.
Gil-Martin influences Robert to sin continually assuring him that it didn't matter what he did because he was guaranteed eternal life. Robert is entirely sucked in. Eventually Robert dies and his account of his life with Gil-martin (the middle section of the book) is buried with his corpse. His body is exhumed and the document read (the later part of the novel)
We never find out Gil-Martin's real identity. All we knew is that Robert views him as a carbon copy of himself both in looks as ideology. Yet, others notice a profound change in Robert after only his first meeting with the devil and his fate is sealed from there.
This is a fantastic page turner and highly underrated. Recommened without a doubt.
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Initial post: 4 Jul 2012 20:47:22 BDT
Brian I Davidson says:
The novel is genuinely creepy and atmospheric and reminds me of an Ingmar Bergman film (although obviously pre- dating Bergman) in terms of weirdness and atmosphere. Where the book fails in my opinion is in the totally unfair misrepresentation of Calvinism . I find this book to be a difficult one to rate;it is affecting but it's premise is flawed.
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