An unidentified corpse is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. News of the discovery soon reaches Fin Macleod. However, since swapping his life in Edinburgh for a quiet existence on Lewis, such mysteries are no longer a concern for the former Detective Inspector. Or so he thought. The sequel to the Blackhouse which was selected for the WH Smith Richard and Judy Bookclub, and the second book in the Lewis triology.
©2012 Quercus Publishing PLC (P)2012 Quercus Publishing PLC
Reader, Listener, Optimist
As I listened to Peter Forbes in his wonderfully accented Scottish, describing the diverse and desolate landscape of these islands, I came upon an idea to "see" the countryside more fully. l used the Street View feature in Google Maps to "drive" around the Outer Hebrides as I listened.
By following the author's detailed descriptions of prominent physical features in the story, I easily found landmarks, settlements, and roadways. This gave me a much deeper appreciation of the setting while adding great credibility to Peter May's illustration of these places he obviously knows well.
As for the story itself, I came to admire May's device of occasionally inserting chapters written in the first person voice of the elderly Tormod Macdonald, who gives us insight into the frustration of what it must be like to live with dementia.
For valuable background of this second piece of the Lewis trilogy, I recommend listening to The Blackhouse before enjoying The Lewis Man. The third part, The Chase Men, is due out in 2013.
Thank you to an Audible listener whose review prompted me to listen to this wonderful book. This is my first Peter May book and I am hooked. The story is moving and works on so many levels. It is elegantly written - stitched together seamlessly like the unique patterns of the almost lost knitting arts described in the book. The characters grew on me slowly and inevitably. Like many of my favourite writers, Mr. May made it possible to feel the wind, smell the sea, and watch the play of light across the landscape. Bravo! I highly recommend this book.
On another note, I highly value the recommendations of other readers. Thank you so much for your reviews.
I have listened to most of Peter May's books published by Audible and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I rated his first book in this trilogy Blackhouse 5 stars and assumed wrongly that he couldn't get better. He did. So The Lewis Man deserves 6 out of 5. What a fantastic story! What strong characters! What incredible story telling by Peter Forbes. I am totally enthralled by the main character 'Fin' not to mention Marsaili, his childhood sweetheart and Donald Murray, Fin's wild childhood friend who turned preacher. And especially Tormod MacDonald, Marsaili's father, who is in the later stages of dementia. Most of the narrative about Tormod is written in the first person, an uncanny, insightful and tragic perspective from an older person whose memory is being robbed from him daily.
I agree fully with a quote from Bookgeeks "The Blackhouse was an extremely good book; The Lewis Man is a superb book".
One final note - it helps to have a map of the Outer Hebrides at your side as you listen to the novel, which by the way is one of the advantages of audiobooks.
The third book in this trilogy is due in the Fall of this year. I can't wait. Truly a "must listen"; well worth the money.
Well read, authentic accent, particularly the voice of the old and dementing man who is central to this story.
A great sequel to Peter May's other Hebridean story.
The story of the children on the Dean Bridge is especially compelling.
Stayed awake all night.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Continuing the story of the people of Lewis but shifting back a generation, Peter May has created another spellbinding tale filled with atmosphere, memories, regrets and new chances. Fin works to find answers to the questions surrounding a body long buried in the bog, tied to Marsali's father, Tormod. As Fin investigates his own way, we learn the story through the hazy memories of Tormod, revealed through his first person recollections. Amazingly, the author is able to weave the facinating story of Tormod's youth and simultaneously convey the sad frustration of living with dementia. I felt complete empathy with Tormod on both levels.
Moving between the past and present, there is the tension of knowing through Tormod's narrative what has happened, while knowing Fin to be tantalizingly close, but still several steps behind. It is a race to bring the nearly parallel lines to convergence in time to prevent past events from creating new tragedies in the present. Very well written and perfectly narrated, this is very highly recommended.
This is Peter May's second novel in his Lewis trilogy -- and certainly is a strong sequel to 'The BlackHouse'. This one is quite complex in the telling, with Tormod's account in first person cleverly interweaving with the third person investigation by Fin McCloud. Intriguing from the start to the final minutes!
If Peter May's words could be turned into a painting, he would be considered a modern day master. And, Peter Forbes' compelling narration has convinced me that this book needs to be heard as long as Mr. Forbes is narrating it.
I could see the sky, feel the rain and the wind crashing on the shore and smell the peat. I wanted to reach out to comfort Talmod MacDonald who endured such hardships in his youth, only to relive those times in his confused state of dementia at the end of his life. The main character Fin, comes across as sensitive and strong. Mr. May and Mr. Forbes portray each character in the book to perfection.
The Blackhouse was excellent and as soon as I had read it, I promptly downloaded The Lewis Man and was delighted that it is unabridged. Like other reviewers, I agree with their assessment. While The Blackhouse is great, The Lewis Man is superb. I am looking forward to Book #3. Thank you Peter May and Peter Forbes for sharing your incredible talents.
I enjoyed the story and the narrator did a good job. It took a while to get into the plot with the insertions from an old man's memory but it all worked out in the end
Blogger of accidental discoveries through books
This is the second book of Peter May's Lewis trilogy. Excellent story and perfect narration.i'm looking forward to the third book.
Not having read the print version, I don't know. However, Peter May creates such an extraordinary and complete dream in the reader's mind, I am sure it would be excellent.
I could pick several which would constitute spoilers, but the one where the main character, Finn, is punched by the village reverend is a great one.
Peter Forbes disappears, and Scotland is completely unveiled. His narration is SO good, I barely noticed him. I just heard and saw the places and people. That's the highest compliment I can render to a reader, and I'm hard to please.
I just felt it was very very good, and it has stayed with me the way a good book does.
Like the title of my review, please get all of Peter May's Scottish stories and please get Peter Forbes to narrate more!
"The Lewis Man"
This book was as good as the first book,although its a different story a lot of the previous characters are still there and a great narrator once again can't wait to listen to the last book.
Brilliant writing, but I found this audiobook was totally ruined by a change of narrator, which is such a big thing when it comes to getting the best and most entertaining experience from Audible.
"Another good listen by Peter May"
I am glad I bought this book, it was another well paced, well narrated book. A very good follow-on to the first book in the series. I managed to guess the ending but still enjoyed listening to the book. I thought it was well read and the story had a good pace to it. I loved the narration of the book.
I would recommend this book either as a standalone or as part of the The Lewis Trilogy.
This is the authors second book in the series, I would definately recommend reading the first one before you read this excellent book.
Well crafted, skilfully written both in the first and third person. The author takes us from the modern day back into the 1950s, through the eyes of an old man suffering from dementia.
Peter Maybrings his story seamlessly together, forging past and present to create a story that kept me fully engaged throughout. Narrator Peter Forbes helps to bring the authors characters to life with his smooth and easy going style, which made this book an absolute joy for me the listener.
For anyone who enjoysa good mystery thriller, I would highly recommend that you read this first rate novel.
"Fabulous book, amazing insight into dementia"
A quite wonderful story, with the most amazing descriptions of a man with dementia and how he views the world, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
I found this book a bit pondering - the charcters a bit small.
I enjoyed it but I am not desperate to read another from Peter May - but will give him another go later.
A bit spoiled recently going through a Dickens phase.
Although this book can be enjoyed as a stand alone read, I got more from it because I listened to the first part of this trilogy of books . These books are set in the Outer Hebrides they are wonderfully described in glorious colour. Most of the characters from the first novel are in this book and you get to know them well. The narrative is the back-drop to life stories that switch between the 1950s and the present day. There's lots of atmospheric writing about the scenery. Within the story you will learn about social attitudes and how life on the islands has changed over time. Peter Forbes is an excellent narrator who brings the characters to life and transports you directly to Lewis.
"The Lewis Man"
What a book! The middle book of a trilogy by Peter May. The setting of this book is beautiful, set on the Isle of Lewis, and the main character is Fin McCleod who is an ex policeman and who has returned to his birthplace following the death of his son and the subsequent breakdown of his marriage. The beauty of the islands is so apparent and so delightfully described. The book follows the discovery of a body buried in peat on the island which has been there for over 50 years and whose DNA has a link to a local elderly man who now has dementia and has always said that he was an only child. It is a very moving story which takes you back in time through the eyes of the elderly man, as well as giving the listener an insight in to the impact of dementia both on him and his family. It is though a truly wonderful thriller all the same. Brilliant book!
After thoroughly enjoying the first two books in this trilogy I had high expectations of The Lewis Man and they were absolutely justified. Terrific book beautifully read which I recommend highly! Definitely worth reading the three books in order!
"Great story grows to grip you."
A slow burner to begin with, not sure where it is going, then with west coast gentleness grabs you to reveal its rich tapestry of damaged lives and violent repercussions.
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