ManBooker Longlist 2016
Frankly I do not get why this novel made it to the ManBooker 2016 longlist. It’s structure is hardly original: let’s pretend I’ve found an authentic manuscript belonging to a 17th century murderer and add some reports from doctors and his trial. The murderer reporting quite factually about the events leading up to the murders he commits, makes for historical non-fiction. And yes, MacRae Burnet makes it clear that tenants at large estates had it hard in the 18th century, especially if power-craving factitioners abuse their position. Unfortunately that fact does not really come as a surprise, does it now? The reports MacRae Burnet adds, complement the murderer’s tale with facts he choses not to share. They stress the fact that our young murderer is quite the psychopath. He does not show any remorse for killing three people, does not wonder whether he could have solved his problem without butchering his victims and appears incapabel of using his intellect in order to better his life. On the contrary, he accepts his position in society all too easily, he is submissive. The only thing in his advantage is his love for his mother and sister. And the fact that he prevents a peer from killing a beautiful deer during a hunting party. It’ll not come as a surprise that the ghilly was not amused by this act. I can imagine people who like historical novels to be taken by this novel, I, unfortunately, found it increasingly boring.