Reviews - What do customers think about White Male Heart: A Novel?
Despicable Jul 18, 2008
Sickening acts of cruelty (mostly aimed at animals), shock for shock's sake, and plenty of drizzle don't amount to a story worth reading. Mr. Nicoll has a fine, workable writing style, but his protagonists-- one a sadist and psychopath-in-training, the other confused and morally ambivalent about the vicious doings of his so-called friend-- are worthless. The book's grim details are less realistic than simply disheartening. All in all, a coming-of-age story to avoid.
A poignant tale of grizzliness Feb 2, 2004
I didn't know what to expect of this book, but once I started it I couldn't stop. This book is not for all tastes. Its scenes are shocking and relentless in their inevitability. The story, taking place in modern remote Scotland mixing the brooding dark landscape and a small village where all know each other and where familiarity breeds contempt, loyalty, envy. The exploration of the forces which compel the alliance between the sicko Aaron and his childhood comrade Hugh as they pass adolescence and the stakes of maintaining an insular existence become harder to ignore by Hugh. The violence which is a way of life (via hunting) skirts the line into their life as humans dealing with alienation, spurn, and fear of change.
Nicoll's writing is direct, and imaginative. The scenes are almost gothic in some of their exaggeration, adding to their sense of truth. The book is well constructed. It's scary to think that the normal emotions of everyday living, can, when pieced together and in a breeder environment can lead to something far beyond the parts.
Dark, brooding masterpiece May 24, 2003
From the cover, I expected this novel to be a sharp, smart, literary thriller. And that's exactly what it is. Set in a vividly drawn landscape of Scotland, White Male Heart follows two young men who don't fit in with the rest of their neighbors in their small village. They hunt together, and make friends with a local poacher who everyone else is afraid of. When a young woman moves to town, one of the men falls in love, and the other goes off the rails. This is dark and stylish novel in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy.