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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner Paperback – August 7, 2008
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation. (Ian Rankin, from his introduction)
James Hogg's Confessions is one of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological - a borderland that Scottish authors seem to have explored with a particular relish. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely. (Philip Pullman)
Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what make it at once so gripping and yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature. (James Robertson, author of THE TESTAMENT OF GIDEON MACK)
With a new introduction by Ian Rankin
Top customer reviews
I first stumbled across this incredible novel at a Half-Price Books and Record Store and bought it for its title alone. I had a fairly Calvinistic theology, and so the idea of a man who abuses the notion of the elect to do evil and even commit murder piqued my interest. It's impossible to do justice to this novel in a short review, but trust me: it's unique and well worth reading. I've never read anything quite like it before.
The grotesque story of how a man is twisted by an abuse of Calvinistic theology, by his mentor, and by his own warped psyche seems more modern than something written in 1824. What makes "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner" most memorable is the fact that the story is told first from an editorial perspective, and then from the perspective of the deranged sinner himself. It's especially the juxtaposition of the two narratives in the reader's mind that brings the novel something like a horrific 3-D effect! Even as the reader compares and contrasts the two accounts of the events, he can feel his brain growing! It's not too much to say that the novel gets into the psyche not only of the murderer himself but also into the psyche of the reader himself.
It's a disturbing but thought-provoking, mind-bending, and soul-challenging read. In spite of its age and its overt theme of religious narrow-mindedness, it's a compelling book of psychological intrigue that will prove fascinating to many readers. It's a relatively short book and an underappreciated masterpiece.
This Kindle version appears to be formatted in a pleasing enough way, and I enjoyed getting re-acquainted with this old friend of mine using this new technology.