Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Plaguewalker Paperback – May 17, 2012
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
- Publisher : Grunaskhan Books (May 17, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 180 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0985260505
- ISBN-13 : 978-0985260507
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.45 x 9 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#3,737,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #170,714 in Historical Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I read this book in 1 day, a short read at 170 pages. Definitely, an interesting read. One I was glad to finish in a day. 170 pages was still a little long for this book.
The main chunk of the story is about Marcus, a baby raised by the executioner. He lives with prostitutes, the executioners real son, as well as, his daughter. His daughter by a prostitute named Elise that lives in his home with him. Marcus's day to day life, torture, beheading. Then his daughter runs away, and a plague hits.
From paragraph one, I thought Marcus was going to be extraordinary...nope. I was disappointed by his character that was suppose to be so awesome! I mean the story of how he came to be the executioners "foster" son! Even that story later fell flat.
While the story was fast moving and kept my attention. I oftened wondered when the plague walker was going to get there, what secret was hiding, etc... I found this book a bit repetitive. I enjoyed the way the author described the surroundings. It's as if the first half of the book we were going on a journey. Then when the Marcus's household got struck with plague, the author lost her focus. The ending was blah!
Overall, Started off good, got lost some how in the middle, built me up for a great ending, then let me down. It was an ok read.
In his book, "The Waning of the Middle Ages," J. Huizinga wrote in his first chapter, "The Violent Tenor of Life," as follows: "To the world when it was half a thousand years younger, the outlines of all things seemed more clearly marked than to us. The contrast between suffering and joy, between adversity and happiness, appeared more striking...Illness and health presented a more striking contrast; the cold and darkness of winter were more real evils...We, at the present day, can hardly understand the keenness with which a fur coat, a good fire on the hearth, a soft bed, a glass of wine, were formerly enjoyed."
The author captures these images very well in her novel, indicating she has done her research thoroughly. She has brought to life a period utterly foreign to us today, in all its brutality, nastiness, intensity and fear. The author is to be commended for bringing alive this long gone time.
Tarlach pulls no punches in writing about the gruesome life of an executioner, nor about the effects of the plague. She never stoops to sentimentality, and the redemption that Marcus finds is nothing that most readers would expect it to look like. It's rather like a stone finding redemption for having been an agent of death in someone's hands. Marcus is the product of a violent, superstitious culture who somehow manages, through suffering and the trust of one person, to become something different than his fate decreed.
This is a short, spare novel, written with great skill. I was spellbound from beginning to end.
Marcus of Ansberg lives a grim life as the town Scharfrichter (executioner, confession extractor, and ironically healer) in 14th century Bavaria during the Black Plague. He is despised and ostracized by all, forbidden from many normal things like walking in town or showing his face, and makes his living by committing heinous acts of violence against his fellow man, but he slowly finds redemption and new purpose as he pursues the Plaguewalker.
This book is similar to The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch in that they are both about Bavarian executioners, but that is where the similarity ends. In my opinion, Plaguewalker is infinitely better. I was hooked from the first line and captivated until the last. At 180 pages, this is a perfectly written short novel. There is nothing I would add or remove from the story.