I have just recently read `The Shrew` by Nicholas Gordon. Its about one of the best books I have read in ages. The author really knows his stuff on the subject of game shooting and the present problems it faces along with the pressures on the countryside and its sports in general. I suppose its the `Wither this Land` by William Venator of game shooting, but a lot easier to read and to the point. Its got a superb storyline and its not easy to put down once you start reading; so it was a good job its a fairly short book. There are some chapters that are just too vivid to cope with at times, the imagery is superb. There are sections that I think even Stephen King would be proud of. The book would appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery/crime or thriller novel; although it is set in the countryside and makes a lot of political observations it is in general a really good read for anyone no matter what their interest or viewpoint. It keeps you guessing right up to the last chapter and beyond.
Books for Sale by Nicholas Gordon
A really good read
A review written by James Morris on 03 Sep 2013 for The Shrew
The Shrew is a fascinating and intriguing book for so many reasons. It's simple title conceals a very dramatic, mysterious and traumatic tale. Is the Shrew the little inconsequential mammal that appears at the beginning or the end or he the central. lonely and desperate character of the book; fighting with all his limited resources for all he holds dear and his very existence? Although it is largely based in rural England it also takes the reader to the dusty plains of South Africa, the steamy heat of the Amazon and the luxurious relaxed life of the Bahamas. It is a book that describes the great contrast between the lives of the `have` and the `have nots` and the total lack of care some of those that have recently come upon their wealth and are determined to have more no matter what the consequences. The rapid pace and exciting plot of the book carry the reader along as the tale twists and turns all the way through. There are no tedious long sections of `infill` to draw the tale out and make the book look bigger than it needs to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was great to meet Nicholas at the book signing at Welshpool; his passion for his subject is very infectious.
A review written by Diane Chambers on 03 Sep 2013 for The Shrew
I have just read finished reading The Shrew and its perhaps one of the most original tales I have ever read. The book was difficult to put down once I had started on it and I am now hoping impatiently that Nicholas will write a sequel to The Shrew or another completely new book; I really enjoyed his writing style. It was great to find something totally new in the world of novels.
A review written by Roger L. Stephens on 03 Sep 2013 for The Shrew
Well worth reading
The wretched book had me in tears most of the way through it. Don't read this if you want a `feel good` novel, it's just too sad and real; it describes some of life's injustices with such accuracy that you can feel the anger welling up inside you at times. I felt like I wanted to do something about it all as the story unfolded. I can recommend this as a novel well worth reading. I would like to see it as a film one day.
A review written by Jane Lewis on 03 Sep 2013 for The Shrew
This is a good read and is well written
I live in Lincolnshire, which is a big shooting county and many people living in rural areas here are quite familiar with the work of gamekeepers, because they are to be found working on most estates either single-handedly, like the one in the book, or sometimes as a beat-keeper under a head-keeper. All of them are usually a breed apart and tend to keep themselves to themselves, living more or less by their own rules. They are usually loners and work some very odd hours. On the very large estates they often all go to the same pub and otherwise have the unnerving habit of keeping fairly invisible, yet they know a great deal more about what is going on locally than anyone might reasonably think. This book is a novel and I am guessing it is the author’s first one. Very little in the way of background notes came to me with the book, so I was surprised to discover just how much I actually enjoyed it. It is not a long novel and in fact I read it in two days, partly because it was difficult to put down once started. The author obviously writes about a subject he either knows much about, or has researched well, and the story is a good one and well thought through. The book essentially tells about a single-handed gamekeeper on an old estate which has seen much better days and in which the present young owner, after inheriting the estate, has developed other interests and begun to neglect his inheritance. The old story, I suppose, of clogs to clogs in three generations. He being the third. There are black clouds looming on the horizon and an unsympathetic, non-shooting agent managing the estate on the owner’s behalf does nothing to help make the gamekeeper’s life any easier. Some quite forbidding events occur and the reader is never sure of their source until the last few pages. In this respect, it is much like a Dick Francis novel. The book is well researched and moves not only about the estate itself (there is a helpful map of the estate provided) but also to South Africa and to South America in an interesting and convincing way. This is a good read and is well written. The characterisation and the plot are excellent, although I have to say that I did find that the eventual explanation of the forbidding events stretched credibility a little. Nevertheless, it left me wanting to read more. I hope other books from this author, an obvious countryman, are forthcoming.
A review written by David Hindle on 03 Sep 2013 for The Shrew