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Publisher's Summary

For Gideon Mack, faithless minister, unfaithful husband, and troubled soul, the existence of God, let alone the Devil, is no more credible than that of ghosts or fairies - until the day he falls into a gorge and is rescued by someone who might just be Satan.
© James Robertson; (P) Clipper Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gideon's sly unreliability is cloaked by Robertson's mastery of language and command of the elements of fiction; the combination is addictive and captivating." (Publishers Weekly)
"More a discussion of humanity than divinity, it will capture and hold the reader's attention long past the last page." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

This is most definitely one of the best books I've read (heard) in a long time. Gideon Mack. Everything about the man, his life, his mannerisms, and his thoughts completely captivated me. He is flawed at best, which may be one of the things that makes him so interesting.
The narrator does a fantastic job of adding life and personality to each character of the story. At some points I had to pause and rewind the book to listen again because he went into the thick Scottish accent of the common man. After a short while, though, you get used to the accent, and all is well.
This is a definite must for anyone who wants a good book added to his or her reading list for the year.
I've suggested it to others in both audio and hard cover form and all have come back to me with great reviews of the author, writing, general flow, and believability of the story. Everyone falls in love with, while also disliking, Gideon Mack. One friend even said that she wondered if she was the only one who thought about planning a trip to Scotland, as the writing is good enough to convince the reader or listener of the trueness of the story.
Great book by a fantastic author. I'm looking forward to seeing more stuff by James Robertson.
Take a dive into the world of Gideon Mack.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Aptos, CA, United States
  • 05-16-07

The most pleasurable audiobook in a year

I have listened to some great books this year, but this book has been the most pleasurable. Don't let the Scottish accent from the sample discourage you from listening. The narrator does a great job of bringing a verisimilitude and deeper dimension to the book.

I will come back to add more when I have fully collected my thoughts from this great tale.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JK
  • Los Olivos, CA, United States
  • 09-06-11

Did He or Didn't He? You'll Have to Decide.

I LOVED this book!! This is a book about nature of truth, doubt, belief, trust and faith, and it will get you thinking - a LOT - about this. I couldn't put it down, and when I finished, it was like a really good movie; you keep thinking about the characters, the story, the questions long after it's over. James Robertson is a masterful author, in the top 5% and well worth reading for a variety of reasons. Here's my list of why I would recommend this book to everyone:

1. The sublime weaving of myth, folklore, legend, history and facts are so incredibly well orchestrated, that you never know when one leaves off and the other begins. The philosophical romp is exhilarating. Robertson doesn't give any answers to these issues (that would be tidy and nice), instead, he cleverly uses the story, the setting and especially the characters in such a skillful manner in order to leave the reader with plenty of food for thought to decide for themselves - and debate - all sides of the various questions that the story raises.
2. The characters. Robertson choose his characters carefully and develops them perfectly such that each serves their purpose in the book to help blur the lines of fact vs. fiction. You really get a sense of how our perception of our world, our relationships, our history and our culture inform and guide us, especially with respect to what we believe and what we readily dismiss.
3. Third, Robertson shows his superlative skill in the craftsmanship of his novel; the construction of the story, development of the characters, use of metaphors and the list goes on all work smoothly together so that nothing is as it seems, or is it?

If you are an aspiring writer, I would strongly recommend this book for the elegance of the technical elements. If you are book club looking for a good book to get everyone talking, this is it and Viking Press has an excellent reader's guide [...] to help you get the conversation going. If you are looking for a darn good book that will get you thinking about what you believe and why, you'll find this book to be an excellent adventure!

Also, the beautiful Scottish accent of Tom Cotcher added to the story immensely!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

At my father's funeral, one of the preachers encouraged us to "Be as Calvinist as we want to be". Because of this book, I now know so much more about being or not being Calvinist. I'll be the one with kites at my funeral, thank you very much.

This book is such a great journey and such a great story. And Tom Cotcher is a wonderful reader, I'll listen to it again, just for the lilt in his voice and the fun that he has with words. I'd like more by both author and narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Totally engrossing

The audible version of a real page-turner. Clever setup: fictitious publisher writes the prologue, talking about whether or not he should publish this story based on a "found manuscript" which is Gideon's autobiography.
The story addresses big philosophical questions and the variety of relationships in one man's life -- all a background for a fantasical tale.
I'm looking for more books by this author!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent story-telling

The narrator is excellent! Tom Cotcher's voice, accent, and style makes the story come further out to life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Having pity for a weary devil?

Gideon's story's may bring a new understanding to what it's like to be the devil... If it was the devil... And if it was true ... But can the devil exist without God? Interesting to the end.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Book GREAT Narrator

I liked the book, it was odd and quirky and I am still not exactly sure what really happened. The real reason I wanted to write a review was I LOVED the narrator. His wonderful, authentic Scottish accent added to the odd moodiness of the novel. I hope audible will add more titles featuring Tom Cotcher. Check out his other offerings, two Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus novels. MORE PLEASE!!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Collins
  • 07-02-13

A Justified Listen

What made the experience of listening to The Testament of Gideon Mack the most enjoyable?

Great performance of the novel- Cotcher brings each of the characters (so well created by James Robertson) to life with their own distinct voice.

What did you like best about this story?

The confessional nature of the Testament lends itself particularly well to the audiobook format.

Which character – as performed by Tom Cotcher – was your favourite?

Gideon, of course, who manages to leave you wondering.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 09-26-12

This is a very good book!

This is one of the best books I have purchased here. The story is very original and strange. a real page turner. Tom Cotcher is perfect as the reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mirium
  • 03-24-09

Wonderfully strange

A wonderfully strange book: mysterious, imaginative, brilliantly evocative of landscape, and clever without being pretentious. it isn't perfect - the female characters in particular are rather unconvincing, especially the colourless and two-dimensional Jenny. When what happened to her happens (I won't say what because of spoiling the plot) I wasn't particularly upset, except on Gideon's behalf. the ending is inconclusive, but I suppose that's the whole point: Gideon never knows the truth, and neither do we. Beautifully-read, and a pleasure to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rogayah
  • 11-19-08

The truth?

This is a well-told, well narrated fascinating story that leaves the listener wondering ... it is called \"The Testament\" but what is truth and should it be told? Who is Gideon MAck that he can abandon everything and everyone with such a betrayal in the name of truth?

It is a tale of wonder and truely engages the listener as the story twists and turns backwards and forwards in the story of the life of Gideon Mack, the son of a austere minister of the Church of Scotland.

Definitely a book heavy with food for thought with its deftly drawn characters who are bought to life by Tom Cotcher, an engaging narrator with his delightful Scottish burr. This is an author worth discovering.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • p
  • 07-31-18

stunning

this book was so good I had to listen to it again as soon as I finished it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 01-31-18

worth the wait

it's taken me 10 years to rediscover this book and it has been well worth the wait. As someone who suffers from mental illness, it gives a balanced opinion on the gap between reality and fiction.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rosalind
  • 05-25-09

Pointless

I was very disappointed with this book. It's saving grace was that it was read well. I spent 3/4 of the book waiting for Gideon to meet the devil, and when he did, it was all a bit boring and mundane. There was no soul searching about good and evil, and having met the devil, I couldn't understand why a non-believing minister didn't even begin to wonder about the God he had spent his life preaching about but denying the existence of. Gideon Mack himself didn't seem to ask himself any questions about the experience, and unlike the other reviewers, there were no questions for the listener to ponder, other than why did I waste my time listening to this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful