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Love for Books

Moristoun was given another great review by the website Love For Books. Thanks to Nichola Diamond for agreeing to take a look at the book and give me her thoughts.

 

You can read her full review here but I've picked out some of the best bits for your consumption...

 

"You have to read the whole book to fully appreciate how the author has cleverly used his imagination with a difference."

 

"Just imagine a mature Harry Potter in the Scottish islands with some added twists and turns into the mix, that intrigues your excitement levels to the extreme , then this is the book for you!"

 

 

Book Reviews Anon

The website Books Reviews Anonymous granted Moristoun the status of must-read in their five-star review. Huge thanks to Loretta for agreeing to take a look at the book and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

 

You can read the full review here but as a taster, here's some of the best bits:

 

"My first impression of the novel after one page was of Terry Pratchett and the Discworld series. The farther I got into it, the more it proved me right. The metaphors and imagery were so creative and appropriate. Off the wall and funny."

 

"As someone who’s dealt closely with the overarching theme of the novel, I liked how it was handled. I liked the message and how it was weaved into the narrative. Sensitive subjects were handled with tact.

 

"This is yet another I want to add to a list of 'must-reads'. It was that good. Everything from character creation to world building was just so spot on."

 

 

Ann Sterzinger's Video Review

Huge thanks go out to the wonderful Ann Sterzinger for the first video review of Moristoun, which you can see below. Ann is a novelist herself and her brilliantly dark NVSQVAM is one of the best books I've read all year. You can read my review of it here and buy your own copy here. Ann's video review has all the humour that makes NVSQVAM such a treat, here it is in all its grumpy glory.

 

Licence to Read

The website Licence To Read are the latest to review Moristoun, giving it a solid four out of five stars. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read the book. You can see the full review here but here a few highights...

 

"page after page, the author took me into the lives of these characters and I’ve found myself walking into McSorely’s shoes. Some of the characters were really one of a kind..

 

"Moristoun is a good utopian read with lots of symbolic elements. And there is a mystery all over it. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading, but it didn’t disappoint me at all."

 

Jeyran Main Website

Thanks to Jeyran Main for reviewing Moristoun on her excellent website and a host of other platforms. You can read it on her personal website here and the Millionaire's Digest site here. But here are some of the highlights...

 

"Moristoun had a sprinkle of humor within the subtext of its content. This lifted the mood of the book and provided novelty to the whole approach.

 

"The book is not like others. I enjoyed the plot and the casting crew. The world setting and the flow of the story were easy to understand and demonstrated that the author had done an intense amount of reading towards researching the subject matter.."

 

Blushing Reads

The American book blog Blushing Reads has fallen for Moristoun's charm. Thanks to Marie for agreeing to review the book and for her wonderful words, which you can find here.

 

Here are some of the best bits...

 

"This is a subject matter that touches just about every life out there whether you connect with McSorely or Buchan or Gail who is the ray of light and hope on the island. It affects us all and in this book, we are shown just how much we are connected to those around us. as well as the way, our decisions affect other’s lives."

 

"this was an excellent read and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to lose themselves for a little while. I promise you will come away with a better view of depression and suicide."

 

Whispering Stories

Thanks to Whispering Stories for reviewing Moristoun on their excellent blog. Reviewer Jodie K said some wonderful things about the book and you can find her full verdict here.

 

Here's some highlights from the review...

 

" I think Kevin McAllion is a genius with this storyline. The book is so well written that you almost forget it is a work of fiction! "

 

"as I became more invested in unveiling Moristoun’s secrets and the developing relationships between McSorely and the residents of Moristoun, I found the book difficult to put down. My 30 minute daily commute flew by!"

 

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Moristoun was on the menu as the Satisfaction For Insatiable Readers blog cooked up another review. You can find out what Gina R had to say about the book here.

 

Moristoun wasn't quite her cup of tea but she still found it an interesting read. Here are some edited highlights...

 

"a curious story with much going for it (originality, characters, humor in odd places) and a tad against (the dragging). If you go in with the knowledge of a few dry spells, you should be just fine...allowing you to take in the wonder that is Moristoun, and yet NEVER EVER wishing to visit it or a place like it in any lifetime."

 

Elizabeth Ramsay Blog

Blogger Elzabeth Ramsay has posted a review of Moristoun on her personal website, which you can read here.

 

Here are some of the best bits for those two lazy to read the full verdict...

 

"Moristoun is an incredibly thought provoking book. While for the most part it offers a bleak look at our consumer driven, technology-laden society it also offers hope!"

 

"McAllion dissects the modern world and takes an in-depth look at the dark side of consumer culture.."

 

Alisha's Words of Wonder

The marvellous book blog Alisha's Words of Wonder featured Moristoun in their Rave and Review section.

 

You can read the full review here and see what Alisha made of the book. Here are some of the best bits...

 

"I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it surprised me and was very different from anything I’ve ever read so I highly recommend giving this book a shot!"

 

"The entire concept of this book is very, very interesting and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. As I got further and further into the book I became attached to the characters and the ending of the novel was lovely and heartwarming."

 

Beck Valley Books

Moristoun went down a storm with the good people at Beck Valley Books who rated it as one of the best books they have read in years.

 

You can read the full review here on their excellent website. Here are some of the lovely things they said about Moristoun..

 

"The originality and the genius of the plot is one to behold. Wayward Pines meets It's A Wonderful Life, an absolute classic."

 

"An excellent read with brilliant characters and an absorbing tale of people's misfortunes. it would be nice to think that such a place existed where we were are all given a second chance to return to the mortal coil before we have to move on."

 

Future fire reviews

Thanks to Kate Onyett at Future Fire reviews for her excellent and extensive critique of Moristoun. It's a shame Kate didn't read a first draft before we went to press as she flagged up a wee historical inaccuracy in the book. The monarch during Buchan's mortal days should, of course, have been Queen Victoria and not George VI as I claimed.

 

You can read Kate's full review here. As always, I've picked out some of the more flattering quotes to make me look better...

 

"It’s a book that draws you in ands tickles your fancy with gently humorous satire, your heart with characters you come to give a damn about."

 

"the book feels soundly plotted and written with real love. The backstories enrich not only the characters but also the unique and original world that McAllion has created."

 

Pen and Paper Blog

Book Blogger Tracy Terry rated Moristoun as one of her favourite reads of 2016 on her site Pen and Paper. You can read her full review here on the site.

 

Kevin would like to thank Tracy for taking the time to read the book and her wonderful review has already led to more interest in Moristoun. Here are some of the highlights from her review as a teaser...

 

"I cannot begin to tell you how refreshing it is to find a novel with a bit of a difference and Moristoun is nothing if not a novel with a difference."

 

"Kevin McAllion not only writes well but he also tells a great story - something which I have found doesn't always go hand in hand. And oh my goodness, what characters!"

David Kenvyn

Thanks to David Kenvyn for posting the first official review of Moristoun on his blog and for being so complimentary about the book. You can read the review here on his excellent site.

 

David's review really captures the essence of the book and what Kevin was trying to say in it. Here are some quotes, in true movie poster style, taken from it.

 

"McAllion tells his story with mordant wit and grim humour. He has a turn of phrase that would make Christopher Brookmyre or Irvine Welsh jealous."

 

"McAllion does not make the mistake of lecturing us. He tells a story. He jokes with us. He poses puzzles then unravels them."

 

"This is a very special book. It forces you to think, and it may help you to understand. What else could an author ask for?"

Amazon customers

The first few Amazon reviews are beginning to trickle in. Thankfully, the early response from readers has been really positive.

 

Here's what customers have had to say so far.

 

"Really enjoyed this debut from Kevin McAllion. Moristoun has a really interesting premise and is laced with black humour and expressive writing. Well worth a read." Amazon customer.

 

"Very classy and superbly written. Deep, dark and disturbingly great fun. I find it hard to compare it to any other current work, (which is a very good thing). The author has a unique, lyrical, engaging voice, and he draws his characters with finesse and depth. This is a very fine piece of work. Highly recommended. "

Jamie MacGarry.

 

"Writing a story about suicide is always going to be difficult dealing with a difficult subject matter, but the author does this deftly with some genuine laugh out load moments. It's an intriguing self contained story. I am a real sucker for a great ending with John Irving's 'The World According to Garp' and Rohinton Mistry's 'A Fine Balance' being some of my favourites. Without giving anything away the author does a fantastic job of ending this story which stays true to both the characters and the book's themes. A great new voice in Scottish fiction!"

Amazon customer

 

 

"I have to say, this book is unlike any I've ever read before. The plot is really out of bounds of one's imagination. But I found the start somewhat misleading, and it was only when I read it halfway through that I got the hang of what was happening. There were quite a few intense scenes in there which really made me like the book. The author's way of describing raw human feelings was eerie yet fascinating. And it appealed to me more because I'm an earnest student of human psychology.

 

"The language was perfect- neither too boasty nor too dull. Although I could've done without some of the 'sobbing' scenes, this book was a nice change of pace. If you're looking for something original, something that will force you into thinking and analysing your own mentality and mortality, this book is just what you want."

Prapti Panda

 

"This was an absolutely amazing book! I had a few bumps getting started, (personal issues prevented me from reading it at once), but once I got going I truly did not want to put it down. For American readers, like me, you will probably have to check a few words. I had no real problems with this and I have colorfully added to my vocabulary.

 

"I was curious when I came across this book. I am acquainted with depression and suicide, (both attempts and, sadly, actual ones ). I know the devastation it leaves behind. Finding a good book that deals with suicide without being depressing, without judging and with compassion, humor and understanding, was, in my opinion, like finding a needle in a haystack. Apparently that is easier than I believed as here is that book.

 

"The author wrote eloquently on the subject of suicide, presenting the pain in a palatable manner. He used humor to ease it while he wrote much to think about. I became invested in the town and the people easily with this story that I never wanted to end. The characters are very well written. They became alive for me. McSorely wasn't my favorite though, at the end of it, I did feel for him. I loved Gail and Buchan. Oddly, maybe, I was drawn to Moira and would love to know her more.

 

"I most certainly hope there will be a return to Moristoun. There are people that I became attached to. I want to visit them again. Sadly, I think there are many McSorelys in need of Buchan. As to who I would recommend the book to. Sadly, I think the subject matter is one that, in some form, touches everyone. Therefore I would recommend it to anyone, late teens and up. For those who want to know yes, there is swearing. It is not overwhelming though, (at least not the swearing I know). I have come away with a bigger vocabulary that I will entertain family and friends with.

 

"My heritage is Scot so I think I will get away with it. There is also violence though not as graphic as a lot of books I read. The book does deal with the afterlife. For me, it gave me much to think about and discuss. I'm strong enough in my beliefs to handle examining them."

CRISTI AK

 

 

"Up to now i have never read a book like this but now i have more reason to read books of this sort of subject, at college as part of my course i was taught a section on psychology and sociology. I would say that this was an introspective view of suicide. I can relate to the the characters of this book because at a very low point in my life like these characters i was sorely tempted to commit suicide for real.

 

"it was lucky for me that my mum and dad intervened before i could. this author's raw emotions speak to me in this book. my favourite character is Gail. the writer has been very eloquent and sensitive but also honest. it gave me a few goose bumps on my arms at times as i read and i am one of these people who reads a book right through. I became so sensitive to the book that i cried reading the pages but i couldn't stop reading.

 

"I personally think this subject touches everyone. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially from late teens and up who knows if people knew the true cost of suicide then maybe people would be better equipped to help people tempted to do it. swearing is in this book but not so much that it overwhelms the reader.

 

"Overall, this was honestly A real eye-opener and true honour to read something so raw and honest. 5 star rating."

JESSICA

 

 

 

"I was not sure what to expect from this book and i have to say i both could not stop reading it and found it darkly funny. Kevin's writing style is excellent and without revealing anything there are some thought provoking things to consider but delivered in a humourous vane.Others here have outlined the story so i'll leave this as a must read book."

AMAZON CUSTOMER

Fellow Authors

Ian Thompson

author of Ezicash and The 54th State

 

"I didn’t want this book to end, so that says something. It started out at a steady pace, and that pace never altered, but that was its beauty—it didn’t have to. There is no easy way to describe this soap opera for the damned, but it is my job as a reviewer to persuade you to read it, and so I will try.

 

"Moristoun is an island purgatory, one of fifteen or so that house the souls and bodies of those Scottish folk who have had the temerity to end their own lives. On this island you are supposed to attempt to achieve enlightenment in order to pass on, however, we soon learn that you also bring your existing character flaws to the party. So, there is a brief, if bleak, outline of the scene. Now comes the writing.

 

"McAllion’s writing is perfect for the book. The characters, McSorely, Buchan, Jimmy, to name but a few, were all individual and believable folk in this gritty world (even if some were a few hundred years old). The settings, rivalries and love interests all added a perfect seasoning that complimented the underlying Scottish humour that infused the pages with the warmth of a good broth on a cold day.

 

"Did I say that I enjoyed the book, yet? Well I did, and you’re just going to have to try it yourself, because I don’t want to give anything away. Just be prepared to meet some great, new folk whose lamentation of life will make you chuckle inside.."

 

 

Bruce McLelland

author of Virgin Potato

 

"What a great original story. I wish I’d written it. But then I’d have to be a Scot to develop something of such authority and darkly brooding intricacy, wouldn’t I? You might think with a name like McLennan I might be Scottish, or Scotch as Donald Trump recently proclaimed of his heritage. But, I’m not. So, while I’ve greatly enjoyed the humour and the beautifully crafted prose a great deal of what McAllion writes about is wonderfully foreign to me.

 

"I can’t help the thought that McAllion has taken a lot of not so subtle digs at aspects of Scottish life in his book. For instance, what’s with the idea that purgatory is an island off the coast of Scotland. How did he come up with that one?

 

"Did he whip around the office asking for inspiration? The question might have been, “Where’s the closest thing to purgatory on Earth do you think?” Somebody, just back from the Jura Music Festival, might have remarked, “Oh, aye, one of the Scottish Islands, what about Jura? No decent television, crap mobile phone and internet, can’t get a decent beer, the only scotch is the swill they distil themselves, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. Purgatory.” Or maybe McAllion simply misspelled Purgatory in a Google search and it came up with an obscure Scottish island somewhere.

 

"I must point out that, though brilliantly written, this book is not for those of short attention spans. If you can only assimilate byte sized chunks of information, as seems to be the way of writing these days, you are going to have trouble with some of Kevin’s longer sentences. I often found myself reading a sentence two or three times to finally understand the often hilarious message being delivered.

 

"The first quarter of the story is written as a slow reveal as you try to work out what it is about Moristoun that makes it the unusual place that it is. And then you start to get it. The subject of the story is not a pleasant one, but McAllion delivers with precision, wit and overwhelming humour. On finishing the book, you almost feel you’d like to visit Moristoun for a wee visit. But to go and do that…well, you’d have to be Scottish, wouldn’t you?"

 

 

PJ Colando

author of Stashes and Hashes & Bashes

 

 

"Scots have a reputation for iconoclastic stubbornness, so imagine changing the mindset of a chronically depressed man who tried-and-failed suicide.

 

"Kevin McAllion did, with dead aim and sonic prose. This book is cunningly plotted so the first line of my review should declare 'spoiler alert' - my intrigue mounted across many pages and, when I finally learned the reality of the isolated island, I relished reading more on this dark topic. I gained knowledge I wouldn't have sought... I gained insight. I gained empathy. I was enchanted by the process.

 

"Sprinkled with uncontrived humor and complex characterizations, I savored the slow read of the dense prose. Peppered with sarcasm and puns, deftly written in Kevin's hand.

 

"What's not to like about a protagonist named McSorely and his noble advocate Buchanan who, among all the residents, is tasked with changing McSorely's world view and evolving him. It's a requirement for departure and Buchanan is appointed as the earnest guide to turn McSorely back home. He was a striver, so he is the perfect role model for McSorely. He'll cause you to drop your possible bad view of attorneys.

 

"There was also winsome Gail, a source of great hope for all the islanders. A ubiquitous bar keep and his wife, losers, and regular folk, who are like someone you may know, except in this book they're dead.

 

"There's a librarian with a wildly provocative past and a dastardly jailer named Sergeant McLeish, described like this "a granite outhouse that would survive an apocalyptic hurricane." One wonders if Mr. McAllion had specific people in mind as he wrote the novel - some of whom he treated kindly and some he skewered... I never quite determined if the enigmatic Farquhar was good guy or bad.

 

"As bonus I learned many delicious Scottish turns of phrase, such as 'bow to the brands', most of which I could figure out with the richly drawn context. A theme of hope seeps into the book, a place you're not really looking for it. Hope is what we Americans and the world needs now.

 

 

Ian Lahey

author of the 45th Nail

 

"From the first pages of this book I was drawn into the author's alternative miniverse. As the peculiar nature of the island emerged, I felt drawn into its workings and complex social structure. The self-contained ecosystem of Moristoun,

 

"apparently a hopeless limbo, gifts the reader with precious gems of satire and jibes, often to be imagined as told with a Scottish accent, as it dissects and analyzes the petty squabbles and idiosyncrasies of the human race.

 

"In this dismal context the flawed protagonists emerge as complex, fully rounded characters in their attempts to cope with the unfathomable drabness of life. It is through their attempts to put order in chaos, together with the author's unique humorous vein, that we spot a glimpse of light, like a word of wonderful wisdom from the most unexpected and lowly of characters, and we realize that there is, after all, hope.

 

"I recommend this book to all those who enjoy a good dose of noir humor but also enjoy the subtle, more refined wit which transpires from the text. Not many books achieve the tickling of the more intellectual of the funny bones, this one does, while at the same time providing a setting which, I hope, may be the theatre of many future adventures for Buchan and the other inhabitants of Moristoun."

 

 

Gian Andrea

author of Ripped and Smooth

 

"Suicide is always a tough subject, and I'm personally quite fond of it. That's why I was eager to read this story.

When the main character has had enough, seeing his life beyond repair, he decided to go to the mysterious island of Moristoun to end his fate. Here he will have enough time to think about his decision and the last chance to go back to his old life.

 

"Though it's a deep and dark tale, the author manages to convey some sort of grim humor which I find rather uplifting given the subject he's dealing with.

The thing with me is, I'm not a great fan of extremely long stories Here we're talking of over 300 pages and I had sometimes the feeling it could have been way more short - without compromising the story itself. Great premises for a very good read after all.."

 

 

Jonathan Finch

author of Darkest Kiss and After Dawn

 

An ingenious novel with a marvellous plot, lots of scathing social satire but hilarious at the same time. Kevin McAllion romps through his native Scotland, taking the reader on a journey with suicidal people, terrible pubs, legal heavies, dour environs, an island truly at sea.

 

The author is acutely aware of where he lives, how it lives, and why depression is endemic in so many of its tortured souls. This should be the stuff of tragedy or endless tirade but McAllion seems one of those writers out to help his readers by being great and his greatness consists in making us laugh every minute. It is with a big thank-you that I close this review of the magical, unreal isle of Moristoun with its echoes of what...? Morris Town? Moris Tomb? More Is Toun? Just what?!

It's so very well done!

 

 

Igor Eliseev

author of One-Two

 

I loved this book and I can't recommend it highly enough. The only word used to describe this book is perfect!

Skipping over any plot summary, which is included in several other reviews, I’d like to add a special personal note. This book has many layers. The author gives us the chance for glimpses into this other layer as well; we learn to know that not everything is as absolutely perfect as the characters would like the other to think.

 

Moristoun by Kevin McAllion took my breath away. I have enjoyed every single word of it; I have felt for the characters and had my friends and enemies. The characters were brilliant, very realistic, I could almost felt them, they were so vivid, and their reactions and the way they were very believable. The dialogues were sharp and witty, full of humor. I loved the things people said about each other, oh, this is human's second nature.

 

The plot is very complex and not predictable, and it's a very addictive reading, and every page brings something new to the plot. It is a perfect mix of everything that I look in a book: drama, humor, suspense, it has brilliant characters and very original plot. It keeps you guessing, it makes you fall in love or hate the characters, and it makes you root for them. I loved how the story developed. The ending left me very contend, I couldn't wish for a better one. As much as the book was about very serious issues and had some heart wrenching moments, it was written with a lot of humor and easy to follow.

 

Before concluding, let me add a few words from my own novel: “It is hard to take this last step, but the hardest thing is to face the choice between the unwillingness to live and the inability to die.” I think that Kevin McAllion, more than anyone else, helped me to answer the question which has before risen in my mind.

Highly recommended!

 

 

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