Magnus

By George Mackay Brown

Synopsis

This tale of the murder of the Earl of Orkney has been described as Mackay Brown's most poetic and innovative novel. The narrative's many voices range from the 12th century to the concentration camps of our own time as they explore the eternal questions of innocence and guilt.

Year of Publication

Review

Mackay Brown, an Orcadian, saw time as sea-like, changeless and in constant change, a succession of waves and ripples, and nowhere is this better expressed than in Magnus, where medieval martyrdom and murder expands out from its stark specific details into universal significance. The lyricism of the language is equalled by the precise structure, as perfect and absurd as a gothic arch. -- Stuart Kelly