Critical Praise for A Voluntary Crucifixion by rosettascribes []
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A voluntary crucifixion

by David MacKinnon

  eBook : Document : Essay  |  First edition

Critical Praise for A Voluntary Crucifixion   (2020-04-06)


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by rosettascribes

"...staggering, destructive, illuminating and exhilarating. A Voluntary Crucifixion is worth finding, buying, reading and savouring. MacKinnon is an underappreciated gem who, in a perfect world, would be a household name, and for more than one reason. Make him one in yours."

Joe Hartlaub, senior reviewer at New York's Book Reporter

"...even ingested in small mouthfuls, this is a highly personal and unsettling reading experience...the book is extraordinary. When it is not a call to action, it teems with so many clear-eyed, rude, and perspicacious observations that Swift’s admonition applies to it perfectly – that we will know a genius among us by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him."

Pat Shannon, The Dalhousie Review

"A VOLUNTARY CRUCIFIXION is worth finding, buying, reading and savoring. MacKinnon is an underappreciated gem who, in a perfect world, would be a household name, and for more than one reason. Make him one in yours."

Joe Hartlaub, New York's Book Reporter

"“MacKinnon has carefully prepared the wall, knows his craft and his tools, and has done his work before the plaster has a chance to dry so that the colours are sure to take hold. His colourful story will last long after the dry work of most Canadian novels has dimmed and faded.”

Jim Christy, The Ormsby Review

"MacKinnon's literary style is full-on and entirely unforgiving. Applied to the story of his own life this could create an impression of self-indulgence; but such a crtiticism is harsh on both author and story. The narrative arc of Mackinnon's life embraces places and situations that would be beyond the imagination of many fiction writers. From separationist Quebec to the darker quarters of Paris, from the southern highlands of Malagasy to the doors of the Vatican it ebbs and flows and the reader is never too sure where next he will be taken. But at its heart are enduring themes - a man's relationship with his father and his own family. And it is these threads that provide a solid counterpoint to the madness of Mackinnon's life and, ultimately, transform this book into a thing of beauty."

Thomas Cowper-Johnson, Goodreads

“David MacKinnon has written three extraordinary novels, a superb translation and now this … A Voluntary Crucifixion … an autobiographical journey providing context for the genesis and texture of those other brilliant works.

A Voluntary Crucifixion’s narrative ranges from deeply personal experiences to the disengaged affairs of politics, and the family and prominent characters within the chronicle. The reader follows a twisted (sometimes a la HST), back and forth path through MacKinnon’s life, experiences, thoughts and resolves. From what was, nevertheless, a different starting point, like Bukowski in Factotem, he experiences, writes and opines from the work-a-day mundane to produce essential literature. The writing is scholarly and informed, but not enough to conceal the bawdy parts. The result is “hell bent for literature”.

Due to much of its subject matter, the book should be of real interest to Canadians. If MacKinnon declares war on certain aspects of the Canadian arts, culture, societal and political landscape, he does it earnestly, concisely, and often with humour. This reader’s concern is that, like Miller and America in the thirties and forties, he remains unappreciated by Canadian readers.

I could write more concerning Mr. MacKinnon’s work, and probably inevitably delve into comparisons with other respected writers. However, while those comparisons are plentiful and easily realized, I would encourage readers who enjoy wild and wily literature to read his books – and that goes double-double for Canadians.”

Junssy, Goodreads






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