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Now We Shall Be Entirely Free: The Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2019

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Warlight is the only one I didn’t appreciate (I found it beautifully written at the level of its sentences but somehow also extremely boring); the other two I’d read before were very good, and Now We Shall Be Entirely Free is excellent.

The second sentence in the book makes reference to the left hand horse of a pair in tandem and this simply makes no sense. It has been followed by Casanova , Oxygen , which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award in 2001, The Optimists , One Morning Like a Bird , Pure , which won the Costa Book of the Year Award 2011, The Crossing , Now We Shall Be Entirely Free and The Slowworm's Song . As in other compelling flight-pursuit thrillers—Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield as a wonderful example— Now We Shall Be Entirely Free centers on the flight of a good guy who’s done something bad. It sounds like an old name for the river, but I can’t find any evidence it is an actual old name for the river. The pacing of his story is excellent; his style is crisp; his apprehension of pain is arresting; and his ability to show people trembling at the edge of unreason is compelling.All Miller’s novels create alternative worlds in which their author experiments with emotional and moral concerns.

So, when both parallel stories take their characters to the same location, you have to initially assume they are there at the same time because there is no way to know that, but the book would make little sense if it were not the case. Already ensconced on the island is a small family of idealists, living their utopian dream in much the same way that Coleridge and others planned to do on the banks of the Susquehanna River. As they play guitars, take laudanum and drag their mattresses outside, the story looks like it might become a cross between The Wicker Man and a 19th-century stoner comedy. I didn’t like the writing style and at page 219 I still hadn’t connected with any the characters, I just didn’t care about anything or anyone.I'd have awarded five stars, but the big moments - ones the reader knows will come long before they arrive - failed completely, on arrival, to pack the anticipated punch. The island on which Lacroix settles for a while is initially reported as having no trees, then it has a few trees, then it is treeless. Now We Shall Be Entirely Free , a high grade cat-and-mouse manhunt that covers the length of Britain during the Napoleonic Wars - a sort of The 39 Steps with added malice - is pitch-perfect.

His first novel, INGENIOUS PAIN, was published by Sceptre in 1997 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Grinzane Cavour prize in Italy.

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He fills his novel with vividly etched characters and has a way with words that delights, surprises and enthrals. I wonder whether Miller has actually been to any of them, if he in fact has visited them, I feel he's missed a trick as the scenery is perfect for an evocative story such as this and could provide vivid imagery to the reader. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products.Now We Shall Be Entirely Free has many virtues--beautiful writing, interesting, quirky historical setting, a certain interest in narrative momentum—along with a killer vice, a rather light hand with historical verisimilitude, which ultimately problematizes the novel for me. Meanwhile, having made it to a remote Hebridean island on the back of a cow (one of the book’s running jokes), John encounters the Fender siblings: eccentric Cornelius, hardworking Emily, and ravishing Jane, who is five-months pregnant by Thorpe, the leader of their quasi-pagan community of free-thinkers. Over the years, a number of people, me included, have compared the British author Andrew Miller to Hilary Mantel.

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