Knee-deep in the mud of an ancient burial ground, a storm raging around him, and at least one person intent on his death: how did Murray Watson end up here? His quiet life in university libraries researching the lives of writers seems a world away.
©2010 Louise Welsh All rights reserved (P)2010 AudioGO Ltd
First I read the book then I listened to the audio version - made the bus ride from Denmark to the Austrian Alps seem like a walk in the park. The book is excellent - but the way the audio (I love the Scottish accent) brought the characters to life added that extra spice which makes listening a completely different experience from reading. The voice of the reader really brought me back to the streets (and pubs) of Edinburgh and made me want to visit (and dig for adventures in) the soil of the Scottish isles.
Now I just want to have more of Louise Welsh!!!
I had read Louise Welsh first book, The Cutting Room and thought she might be a one hit wonder. Naming The Bones seals her as one of my favourite Scottish crime writers. The characters were believable and the descriptions of the scenes were gripping. I listened to the whole audio in two nights!!
I liked the idea of this book from the plot summary, but it was extremely slow-moving and ultimately depressing. I found the main character irritating! I suffer from MS and am amazed at the number of books which use MS as part of the plot - usually to explain a carer's destroyed happiness or the sufferer's otherwise irrational behaviour. This is another example.
This is a great listen, original and engrossing. I found the humour deliciously black, balancing an exciting and engaging story which is both beautifully paced and read. I liked it very much. Highly recommended.
I am a big fan of Louise Welsh, who excels at writing about men in books often set in rather seedy edges of society. Naming the Bones takes the conceit of a (male academic) writer researching a biography, and consequently how the lives of those dead and those alive become intertwined. As with her other novels (I hesitate to call them thrillers) she builds up a tension that creeps under your skin through storytelling and descriptive atmosphere. This book, in particular, suddenly grabbed me somewhere about half way through and became compulsive listening. Her characterisations are strong, and her knitting of episodes and events in the plotline is intricate without feeling contrived. The second part of the book is set outdoors on a bleak island, which I find interesting because her other books have had indoor claustrophobic atmospheres. Here she uses the wildness of the weather-enslaved, isolated island to great effect. It is good to hear the Scottish accent of the excellent reader Cameron Stewart, as I have missed this having read her other books on the page. There's no question Louise Welsh deserves a wider audience.
This was a gripping story that had me walking more slowly down the road in order to have a couple more minutes to listen. Lovely use of mythical legends woven into a gruelling and fascinating story.
Murray Watson is writing a book about a dead poet who has fascinated him since childhood. His boss isn't that keen on giving him a sabbatical to write it, and he doesn't know that Watson is having an affair with his wife. Life is complicated like that!
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