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Razor-sharp, psychological thriller set in a snowy Arctic wilderness.
“They say that dead men tell no tales, but they’re wrong. Even the dead tell stories.”
It's 1910. In a cabin north of the Arctic Circle, in a place murderously cold and desolate, Sig Andersson is alone. Except for the corpse of his father, frozen to death that morning when he fell through the ice on the lake.
The cabin is silent, so silent, and then there's a knock at the door. It's a stranger, and as his extraordinary story of gold dust and gold lust unwinds, Sig's thoughts turn more and more to his father's prized possession, a Colt revolver, hidden in the storeroom.
A revolver just waiting to be used...but should Sig use it, or not?
What a fool I was, thinking that I rated my books depending on the story they delivered. If one novel can destroy this belief, it’s Revolver.
Sometimes, it’s all about the atmosphere.
Sometimes, a storyline that shouldn’t work for me just does. And oh man, how Revolver shouldn’t work :
1910. A fifteen years-old boy living in a little cabin in Nome, Alaska. The frozen dead corpse of his father. A strong fixation on an old Colt (don’t hate me, but I do not like guns). Religion.
Here’s my advice : forget the blurb. Forget the story, even, because that’s not really what matters. Let yourself be swept along in the chilling and sad atmosphere, where all our self-delusions are shattered. What’s life, really, when so many factors stay beyond our control? See, I do not believe in Fate or whatever you want to call it. This is actually a concept that annoys me, because lazy much?! (I would say moronic, but I’ve spent years listening to my mum and she really believe in that stuff. Also, I respect others’ opinions)
Yet I recognize that we deceive ourselves when we think that we hold a complete control on your life. We can’t. Life’s made of choices, of chaos, of other people and their choices, and we’re too complex creatures to organize ourselves like a schedule (also, planning sucks, okay?)
I am really, really happy we’re not machines, and reading the discreetly beautiful and compelling words of Marcus Sedgwick, the feeling of being lost spread into my chest more and more along the way – I loved it. In that sense, I think that his numerous references to guns, by showing the delusion of security, of control they offer (again, gun-skeptic here, bear with me), perfectly served this disenchanted and thought-provoking story.
Considering my personal preferences, I shouldn’t have given this book the time of a day, yet I’m very, very glad I did, because wow. Such an haunting little story, Revolver is. I was invested from the beginning and my interest – my fascination – never wavered.
Strangely, I close this book thinking about Un roi sans divertissement, another strange tale that took me by surprise during my third year of French Literature in Uni. Same suffocating, snowy ambiance. Same intriguing, out of time mystery.
Same millions of people bored by it, maybe, and same pleasantly surprised Anna.