Austin Macauley Publishers
ISBN 978 1 78455 284 8 (Paperback)
ISBN 978 1 78455 285 5 (eBook)
Moristoun by Kevin McAllion is an introspective look the reasons for suicide. It is a deeply intellectual world. McAllion dissects the modern world and takes an in-depth look at the dark side of consumer culture. The secrets of Moristoun unravel as the novel progresses and the main character James Patrick McSorely is left to decide what meaning he finds in life. The novel looks at the world through a dark and dispirited lens yet the characters still manage to go on.
The novel begins with Moristoun’s lawyer Buchan. Buchan is assigned McSorely as a case at and decides to lure him to Moristoun. At the same time, Hogg is on trial for attempted murder. By hiring McSorely to assist in Hogg’s case and watch over the newly orphaned Munchkin (a Scottish Deerhound whose owner has passed on) Buchan hopes to bring meaning back into McSorely’s life. McSorely becomes fascinated with Hogg’s case but he doesn’t truly come back to life until he meets Gail at her father’s pub the Tortured Soul. Attracting Gail’s attention motivates McSorely to try reading and to attempt to win Hogg’s case. Sadly, Hogg’s case is hopeless and McSorely cannot bring himself to finish Gail’s favorite book. When he enters the jail to speak to Hogg after sentencing in one last attempt to be the hero McSorely is told the secret of Moristoun. Will he destroy Gail in his attempt to live happily ever after or will Buchan reach the in time?
Moristoun is an incredibly thought provoking book. While for the most part it offers a bleak look at our consumer driven, technology-laden society it also offers hope. The message is as long as you stay in the game, stay alive, some good can still come your way. Gail acts as a beacon of light in the despair that consumes Moristoun. She knows what the world is like but she is still eager to get out and be a part of it. Moristoun is well written though it tends to have a highly intellectual tone that talks down to those how don’t understand it. Less dense language would make the novel more approachable to a wider audience. The novel does preach at times but avoids organized religion in favor of a more spiritual view. Overall an interesting take on what happens to those who commit suicide. Reminiscent of the movie Wristcutters: A Love Story.
Elizabeth Ramsay is English tutor and ESL Teacher.