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Naming the Bones by Louise Welsh
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Naming the Bones

by Louise Welsh

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1632673,133 (3.38)17
  1. 00
    The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh (pattimeg)
    pattimeg: Louise Welsh's first book, a dark mystery with a hint of typical Glasgow humour.
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Murray Watson lives a reasonably quiet life in university libraries as a literary researcher. He is trying to put together a biography about Archie Lunan, a favorite poet who committed suicide in the waters off the island of Lismore. Murray travels to Lismore to speak to Archie’s lover. The deeper he investigates Archie’s unusual life and death, the deeper he gets embroiled in the past and the surprising things that took place on this small remote island.

This book entwines literature, poetry, black magic and obsession into good read. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Welsh’s writing, she captures the emotions of the characters, particularly Murray’s, and brings them to life for the reader. Overall, a good read.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Louise Welsh knows how to intrigue her readers and, like any good mystery writer, gives them enough twists and turns to keep them interested to the last page. But instead of using a professional (like investigator or detective) to get to the bottom of this story, she puts the research in the hands of a Professor of Literature on sabbatical, trying to write the story of his favourite poet's brief life for a book. Using this as the basis of the story, the people in his life also get tangled into the strange circumstances of the poet's life and death. For people like myself, who don't care much for the mystery genre, Welsh proves once again that you don't need to be a fan to enjoy her works. ( )
  Davida.Chazan | Sep 7, 2013 |
From the back cover, this novel seemed a bespoke fit to my own preoccupations. The story moves initially between Glasgow and Edinburgh, two cities I spent the better part of twenty years toing-and-froing between. Then, as things gain speed, it moves to a remote Scottish island. The main character is an academic, at Glasgow Uni, who is overly involved with his subject - the life and work of a dead poet. As a postgrad at Glasgow uni I spent several years walking in much the same footsteps as Murray, albeit with far less havoc unraveling around me.

The core strand of the book, which is played out with great philosophical and, crucially, narrative success, is the question of whether or not our understanding of a writer's work is enhanced by knowing more about his life. It's a question I find endlessly fascinating, and never have I seen it developed so astutely in fiction.

There's so much to admire and enjoy here, that I was quite surprised I'd not heard more about this book until now. It confirms everything her earlier novels promised would be the case. Louise Welsh consistently delivers intelligent, challenging, and ultimately highly satisfying work. More please, Louise! ( )
  Melanielgarrett | Apr 2, 2013 |
On the front of this book there is a blurb calling it a literary thriller. I really wouldn't put it into the thriller department so I will define the literary part. Considering the last few 'literary' mysteries I have read, what they have in common is that the deaths that are in question are not cleared up so much by detection as much as by being revealed through the stories course of events.

Doctor Murray Watson is somewhat of a schlub mostly because he sees himself that way, despite the way we get a different picture of a certain sidekick in our minds when he is referred to as Dr. Watson. If the reader can get past the occasional urge to yell at Murray "Get a Grip" the book id quite enjoyable, a keeper in fact. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
Kindle - vacation
Publisher:
SOME SECRETS ARE BEST LEFT BURIED - Knee-deep in the mud of an ancient burial ground, a winter 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, and yet it is because of the mysterious writer, Archie Lunan, dead for thirty years, that Murray now finds himself scrabbling in the dirt on the remote island of Lismore. Loaded with Welsh's trademark wit, insight and gothic charisma, this adventure novel weaves the lives of Murray and Archie together in a tale of literature, obsession and dark magic.

Interesting characters and plot but not quite as gripping as The Cutting Room. Very good though.

Read 8/10 ( )
  walkerff | Dec 15, 2011 |
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For Clare Connelly and Lauchlin Bell
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Murray Watson slit the seal on the cardboard box in front of him and started to sort through the remnants of a life.
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Knee-deep in the mud of an ancient burial ground, a winter 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, and yet it is because of the mysterious writer, Archie Lunan, dead for thirty years, that Murray now finds himself scrabbling in the dirt on the remote island of Lismore. Loaded with Welsh's trademark wit, insight and gothic charisma, this adventure novel weaves the lives of Murray and Archie together in a tale of literature, obsession and dark magic.
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Knee-deep in the mud of an ancient burial ground, a winter 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.… (more)

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Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847672558, 1847672566

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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