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4 of 5
2 ratings
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list price: $25.00
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Apr 2019
ISBN:9781771832724
publisher: Guernica Editions

A Voluntary Crucifixion

by David MacKinnon

4 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $25.00
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Apr 2019
ISBN:9781771832724
publisher: Guernica Editions
Description

A Voluntary Crucifixion traces the story of 20th century Canada through the MacKinnon clan and David J MacKinnon's life. Disillusioned with the slow death of the soul promised by life at a major Montreal law firm, MacKinnon ripped himself untimely from the profession, making a personal vow to discover society “from the bottom up?. A Voluntary Crucifixion recounts the tale of MacKinnon's adventures and misadventures from post-Tiananmen Hong Kong to the extreme southern highlands of Madagascar and offers MacKinnon's views on everything from censorship to indigenous issues, reflecting his life ethos that the key to life is to refuse to adapt, and to fight tooth-and-nail for every square inch of your freedom before others wrench it from you.

Contributor Notes

David J. MacKinnon is a Sorbonne graduate in history cum laude, a member of two law societies, and has translated for the international criminal tribunals of Rwanda, the Hague and Yugoslavia. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Legal Translators. He is co-founder and Director of the Long March to Rome, an indigenous-led mission seeking repeal of the Papal Bulls of Discovery. In earlier days, he worked as oil field roughneck, toilet factory worker, longshoreman and morgue attendant. MacKinnon has walked the ancient Santiago de la Compostella pilgrim's trail and to Chartres several times. He has published two earlier novels with Guernica,Leper Tango and The Eel and a critically-acclaimed translation of radio interviews of the French vagabond poet Blaise Cendrars in Blaise Cendrars Speaks.

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Reader Reviews

A Voluntary Crucifixion

David MacKinnon has written three extraordinary novels, a superb translation and now this … A Voluntary Crucifixion … an autobiographical journey providing context for the genesis and texture of those other brilliant works.

A Voluntary Crucifixion’s narrative ranges from deeply personal experiences to the disengaged affairs of politics, and the family and prominent characters within the chronicle. The reader follows a twisted (sometimes a la HST), back and forth path through MacKinnon’s life, experiences, thoughts and resolves. From what was, nevertheless, a different starting point, like Bukowski in Factotem, he experiences, writes and opines from the work-a-day mundane to produce essential literature. The writing is scholarly and informed, but not enough to conceal the bawdy parts. The result is “hell bent for literature”.

Due to much of its subject matter, the book should be of real interest to Canadians. If MacKinnon declares war on certain aspects of the Canadian arts, culture, societal and political landscape, he does it earnestly, concisely, and often with humour. This reader’s concern is that, like Miller and America in the thirties and forties, he remains unappreciated by Canadian readers.

I could write more concerning Mr. MacKinnon’s work, and probably inevitably delve into comparisons with other respected writers. However, while those comparisons are plentiful and easily realized, I would encourage readers who enjoy wild and wily literature to read his books – and that goes double-double for Canadians.

A Voluntary Crucifixion

"...even ingested in small mouthfuls, this is a highly personal and unsettling reading experience...the book is extraordinary. When it is not a call to action, it teems with so many clear-eyed, rude, and perspicacious observations that Swift’s admonition applies to it perfectly – that we will know a genius among us by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him."
Pat Shannon, The Dalhousie Review

"A VOLUNTARY CRUCIFIXION is worth finding, buying, reading and savoring. MacKinnon is an underappreciated gem who, in a perfect world, would be a household name, and for more than one reason. Make him one in yours."

Joe Hartlaub, New York's Book Reporter

"“MacKinnon has carefully prepared the wall, knows his craft and his tools, and has done his work before the plaster has a chance to dry so that the colours are sure to take hold. His colourful story will last long after the dry work of most Canadian novels has dimmed and faded.”
Jim Christy, The Ormsby Review

"MacKinnon's literary style is full-on and entirely unforgiving. Applied to the story of his own life this could create an impression of self-indulgence; but such a crtiticism is harsh on both author and story. The narrative arc of Mackinnon's life embraces places and situations that would be beyond the imagination of many fiction writers. From separationist Quebec to the darker quarters of Paris, from the southern highlands of Malagasy to the doors of the Vatican it ebbs and flows and the reader is never too sure where next he will be taken. But at its heart are enduring themes - a man's relationship with his father and his own family. And it is these threads that provide a solid counterpoint to the madness of Mackinnon's life and, ultimately, transform this book into a thing of beauty."
Thomas Cowper-Johnson

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