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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

April 2006

"In contrast to the dire politics and disgraceful poverty that are the lot of the country, MacKinnon offers welcome glimpses into the physical beauty of the island, in long, rhythmic sentences of a sort that would have made Lawrence Durrell take notice." "One of the most compelling aspects of the book is MacKinnon's nuanced and vivid depiction of contemporary Dominican life." "The account is interesting in a tantalizing cinematic way. [It] offers insightful deliberation on memory and injustice and the imprecise meaning of the past [and] provides an unstated rationale for the ultimate acceptance of uncertainty "

Literary Review of Canada, Apr 1, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

March 2006

"As described by Charles Taylor Prize jury, Laurier LaPierre, W.H. New and Jan Walter: "Part-true-life detective story... and part travelogue through a landscape in political turmoil, Dead Man in Paradise describes an engrossing quest in which the riddles of guilt and innocence, memory and reconciliation, what is revealed and what is withheld lead to an unexpected but thoroughly satisfying conclusion." "

Victoria News, & Saanich News, Mar 3, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

February 2006

" "There's an amazing arc in Dead Man, said poet and critic William New... "It goes from a fog at the beginning, which is MacKinnon's state of mind, to the process of discovery, from a sense of being absolutely certain he will find the truth... to reaching a point where he finds that he can go too far and has to content himself with likelihood and possibility. The whole book is a study in growth, of coming to understand the passion of faith and certainty that existed in the mind of his uncle, and the uncertainty which surrounds the information he is getting." " "Juror Jan Walter... said MacKinnon's Dead Man was very successful as a book. "It's beautifully written, it has a cohesion and style, and although he cannot say at the end who murdered his uncle, the ending is completely satisfying." "

Globe & Mail, Feb 28, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

February 2006

"...a combination of exceptional English, stylistic elegance, deep thought and subtle perception."

Macleans.ca, Feb 27, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

January 2006

"This is a remarkable blend of regret, reflection and ambiguity whose complexity is reminiscent of a Shakespearean character." "Although Dead Man in Paradise is a fine piece of investigative journalism, its atmosphere is more literary than journalistic. MacKinnon is evocative in his descriptions of the land and weather. Adding to the effect is the frontispiece, a map of the Dominican Republic that recalls those found in fiction, especially epic tales. None of this takes away from the factual character of the book. In fact, it enhances it." "MacKinnon is fair-minded and... meticulously dedicated to getting to the bottom of things..." "James MacKinnon has done us the service of retrieving some important history that was teetering on the edge of oblivion. Now we have the opportunity to ponder it."

Catholic Register, Jan 29, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

January 2006

"Dead Man in Paradise is an ambitious work, well deserving of its naming last week as a finalist for the $25,000 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. It aims to go farther than what could be expected of a family memoir, a travel diary or a political history."

Toronto Star, Jan 22, 2006
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

December 2005

"Dead Man in Paradise... works as travelogue, thriller, and much-needed antidote to the ways in which history is often buried and forgotten."

Quill & Quire, Dec 19, 2005
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

December 2005

"...precise, sensuous, personal documentary..."

Focus Magazine (Victoria, BC), Dec 1, 2005
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

October 2005

" the book is masterful. MacKinnon has the craftsmanship for the challenge. He uses flashback well creates arresting images [and] has enough travel experience to take the bizarre in stride."

Globe & Mail, The, Oct 22, 2005
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Dead Man in Paradise

Dead Man in Paradise

October 2005

"Equal parts mystery, political thriller and travelogue, Dead Man in Paradise is a gripping effort guaranteed to keep even the most gaded reader enthralled."

Monday Magazine (Victoria, BC), Oct 20, 2005
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