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The Survival of Thomas Ford [Kindle Edition]

John A. A. Logan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description


"This is writing and literature at its best. Imagine Stephen King combined with maybe Cormac McCarthy and a bit of Edgar Allan Poe tossed in"

"Beautifully written...compelling...literary fiction/tartan noir/thriller/zany black comedy...Logan dances on a literary knife edge...blazing talent"
Linda Gillard, author of A LIFETIME BURNING


Thomas Ford is the only survivor of the car crash which killed his wife. He is also the only witness who would be willing to identify the young, reckless driver who caused the crash. But the driver has no intention of ever letting himself be identified, not to mention what his father’s intentions are…or those of his girlfriend, Lorna, the hospital cleaner.

The young driver’s father is Jack McCallum, the powerful entrepreneur who has built a housing empire, McCallum Homes, on the high hills surrounding the city. Jack has his own dark secret to protect, as well as his business edifice to hold onto. There is no way in the world that Jack McCallum will ever let anything threaten the future of McCallum Homes.

Robert Ferguson, the passenger who was with the young driver on the day of the crash, curses himself for ever getting into the car. He watches carefully to see what the universe will do about it all, and he thinks he can hear the gears and chambers of the universe’s engine, rolling terribly towards them, out of the future, and he knows he can’t cope with that, not even if he takes his medication.

In the end, destiny will pull them all far out of the city, some of them to the moonlit hillside, where white butterflies and mysterious gas fill the air, and wild cats wrap themselves around cold trees. Jack McCallum’s trusted Polish foreman, Lanski, will recognise the place from the folklore-wilderness of his own childhood, a place where death can come stalking in the form of a white wolf, but perhaps also redemption can appear, for those like Thomas Ford who seek it.

In any case, the young driver has it in mind to take his destiny into his own hands now, which will soon lead to the life of a second young woman hanging in the balance, awaiting salvation or destruction, perhaps only the Fates, or the wind that blows through the trees, know which.


He is also the author of STORM DAMAGE, a collection of short stories available on Kindle.
His work has been published internationally in anthologies edited by A L Kennedy, John Fowles, Ali Smith, Toby Litt; and he has been invited to read his work at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He wrote monthly columns and film reviews for the magazine, 57 NORTH, in Aberdeen, where he was also president of Aberdeen University’s Creative Writing Society for three years, while attaining his MA (Hons) English degree there, which included study under the novelist, William McIlvanney.


Comments about John A. A. Logan’s work:



“Writerly prowess” THE SPECTATOR

“Logan writes in very original terms” SCOTTISH STUDIES REVIEW

“A blistering, tough book, tempered with tenderness and mystery”
Alan Warner, author of THE STARS IN THE BRIGHT SKY

Product Details

  • File Size: 321 KB
  • Print Length: 247 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: White Butterfly Press (December 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006Q68W7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't want to put it down!! January 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this novel! Although the interiors are dark, this book has something for just about everyone.

It is a thriller, no doubt, with compelling action sequences. I kept reading straight to the end - it is a "page turner."

It is a strange romance between victims, thrown together by proximity and circumstance.

For those with a philosophical bent, The Survival of Thomas Ford seriously examines whether or not the universe allows accidents, and why good things happen to bad people(and vice versa).

For those interested in the fatalistic Celtic universe of folk lore and legend, The Survival of Thomas Ford is your book.

However, the book is really Jimmy's story - Jimmy is one of the most brilliant characterizations you will meet in literature, and I use that term advisedly, because this is a literary novel, too. And yet, superficially, Jimmy reminds us of someone we may know. That is part of the terror of this book.

Euripides and Jeremiah warn: "The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children," and in Jimmy's case, the sins of Jack, his father, are visited upon him a thousand-fold.

It is, above all else, a deep psychological study.

The characters are well-developed, with a depth and realism unusual in contemporary writing. But the landscapes, the atmosphere, the settings also loom large in this book, taking on a life of their own. The prose is a pleasure to read and it ferries the reader quickly along the Styx to the inexorable windswept hill of horrors.

Logan is an unusually literate writer. I could sometimes hear the echoes of the ancient Celts who painted themselves blue and danced naked on the battlefield; maybe the echoes of Henry James; vividly feel the warmth of Lorna's comely figure; the iciness of Jack's ambition in the subtlety of the language. You will like Thomas Ford and I hope Logan is already at work on another novel. My kindle and I are waiting.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surviving Thomas Ford June 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A.A.Logan. This review first posted one the Indie ebook review site

I heard about this book through viral marketing, not something that usually appeals to me, but for the sake of this site I put aside my I put aside my cynicism about how one rises up through the Amazon charts and decided to find out for myself what all the fuss was about. I'm glad I did. Literary fiction is usually up my street. Contemporary thriller, only sometimes.

From the very opening, the `literary' fiction box was ticked with the beautiful prosaic description. OF A CAR CRASH. That was a master stroke. It worked. And I wondered why it worked. I was put in mind of the many films that I've seen (in a former life as a screenwriter) and how often the use of cinematic lighting can kill off the veracity of a scene or movie (Killing Private Ryan springs to mind... I mean, going into war beautifully back lit?) However, in this novel, the opposite is true. The heightened language actually enables one to fully engage with the horror of the initial car crash. So far so good... the writer has us hooked. Would the rest of the novel live up to expectation?

I'm happy to report that it did. What really did it for me in this excellent novel was the depth and detail. This applies to both characters and plot/narrative. Logan really takes you into the depths of his characters souls, using the kind of details that show a well crafted novel (and that other writers appreciate because they know how hard it is to achieve) There is a panoply of characters who one cannot `like' but Logan manages to keep you engaged with them, almost as if you are rubbernecking a car crash! Giving compelling motivations to unlikeable characters is a skill that Logan pulls off every time.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm no critic but... May 5, 2013
By Lorrie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished this book and I really feel relieved to be done. There is one strange journey in this book from a single accident to total madness. The characters never grip any sort of reality and you keep waiting for some sanity somewhere. I say read at your own risk.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing April 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book grabbed me from page one and kept me compulsively turning pages ....... until the last third of the book. Quite honestly it deteriorates into a blood bath and leaves so many loose ends that I wonder now why I bothered. I feel that the author missed so many opportunities to develop and enlarge the characters.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The haunting of Jimmy February 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Although Thomas Ford does indeed survive the violent life altering events in the story, it is the character Jimmy that remains indelibly fixed in the reader's memory. How does one explain, come to understand Jimmy's motives and inner workings?

Author John Logan does not permit us to simply explain Jimmy's actions as those of a sociopath, devoid of feelings of empathy, despite the fact that that is in many ways an accurate analysis. Logan deftly and quite subtly provides glimpses into a natural world of rugged wild hills, white butterflies and birds. Jimmy himself is described as bird like.

These allusions are understated yet effective reminders of powerful mysterious forces that exist next to us yet outside of our own human understanding. Is Jimmy also a creature of these forces?

Logan turns the question of nature versus nurture on its head. In doing so he requires us to question our views on seemingly gratuitous violence and the nature of evil itself. Long after finishing the book, Jimmy continues to insert himself into my thoughts--a terrifying and thought provoking presence.

Past book reviewer for San Diego's art magazine The Publication; current contributor to the OBRag.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Flawed characters reacting with bad decisions. Great book!
Published 9 days ago by jbyron
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
Four stars as was a bit strange plot but kept my interest. Ending seemed to slow down more than needed.
Published 13 days ago by Dee Hawley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. recommend this to anyone interseted in suspense ...
Great book. recommend this to anyone interseted in suspense novels.
Published 15 days ago by TazzzMan
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery
The book does not use American English. Also, many terms and usages differ. However the story was interesting.
Published 22 days ago by W Bell
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good leisurely read.
Published 24 days ago by Keith K
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Unsettling
This book is very unsettling. The characters are distasteful and their individual and collective behaviors/thought processes are appalling, and that's putting it mildly. Read more
Published 26 days ago by beejay
1.0 out of 5 stars Had a hard time getting into this book
I would read a few pages every time I picked up the book but couldn't stay with it. I thought the character Thomas Ford was unrealistic, too weak and lacked some human traits. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Cheryl
1.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment
The story never got very Interesting. I skimmed over many parts of the story that I felt was repetitious story telling.
Published 28 days ago by Pat
4.0 out of 5 stars What a plot! 
When I read the reviews on this book, I almost didn't read it.  But, I  had to see why so many gave it 5 stars while others gave it 1. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TT
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
The book was okay, the story line dragged a bit and was predictable. Overall it was an okay read.
Published 1 month ago by Bre McG
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