Friday, 12 April 2013

Review: The tale of raw head and bloody bones - Jack Wolf


This is a story about Tristan Hart, set in the 1700’s England. But in this story, there are not only humans, but also gypsies, goblins and things like that. He grows up, living with his father, his little sister Jane and spends his days with his best friend Nathaniel Ravenscroft. Tristan is a brilliant young man who, when he becomes a young man, spends a lot of time reading books about philosophy and other subjects. His father gets him private tutors. 

Other people look at Tristan and see a young man with a troubled mind. They think he is mad. Tristan hears very loud drumming in his head, something the others can’t hear. They give him medicine and orders him to rest. He has several epidodes where he tries to attack people.

Tristan has a passion for the human body. He wants to understand how the body works, what mind and soul really is. He is also fascinated about pain, what causes it and how to remove the pain.  And he is obsessed with causing pain to others. In his own little laboratory he studies dead animals, cuts them open and carefully document what he is looking at. He preserves them in special liquids and has a large collection of dead animals in jars.

He gets a chance to travel to London to study to become a doctor. Dr. Hunter is his teacher and he has several other students who he teaches. Hunter even let them perform authopsies on real human bodies and later Tristan assists Hunter in a surgery to remove a cancer tumor. 

Tristan works very hard and he is stressed. He spends time on a whorehouse, where he beats up girls, fascinated about the scars he create. He also tries to understand why he can not remember his mother at all. And where did his friend Nathaniel go? Tristan also spends time wondering what Raw Head and Bloody Bones actually means. Both he and his little sister Jane end up getting married. Once he sees a baby with little wings on his back and Tristan can’t help wondering whether that baby is his own. 

It’s a very interesting story. I do recommend it to other people. The only thing I was bothered about, was the language. As it is set in the 1700´s the author uses old school English, with certain words that I could not understand. He also uses a different kind of spelling for many of the words (for example Sunne, which is the sun), and chooses to begin lots of words, inside sentences, with a capital letter. So he writes about searching the ”Keys to the wine Cellar” and ”emerging with a Bottle of port Wine in each Hand”, just to give a few examples. It took a while to get used to the capital letters.  

I give the novel, which is the author’s first novel, a strong 3,5 out of 5. What brought the marks down was the language that I described earlier. 


Paperback, 560 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2013)
Historical fiction, thriller
For review



44 comments:

  1. oh it's sad I can't see the cover, it's finally terrible to read a review without the cover with it, we can really imagine it...

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    1. What is going on? Why can't peeps see the covers? :/

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    2. I can see the cover without a problem.

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  2. Replies
    1. Anna seems to dislike the language

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  3. I think this is a good one to read with and ereader to define all the weird stuff!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yes that would be a good idea

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  4. Not sure it is for me, but glad that was good overall

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  5. I don't think the capitalization would bother me, but sunne for sun might. :) Still love that title!

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  6. I don't think I would have given the book another glance if not for your review. Sounds kind of interesting.

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    1. I did have a look and I get Anna's point about the language

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  7. This sounds like it has kind of a dark edge to it! I think the language and random capitalization might bother me somewhat, but I'm glad you enjoyed it overall!

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    1. I do think it would have bugged me a bit too

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  8. This sounds weird and dark and different

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  9. I'm so wanting to read this book. Read a review of it last week, and I can't stop thinking about it. Thanks for the affirmation.

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    1. I do love a book that stays in your mind so that you just have to have it

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  10. You find such interesting books :)

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  11. hmm if it was difficult for you to understand some words i think it would be terrible for me...

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  12. Well, that is interesting
    I am not really sure about this book, it sounds too creepy to me from your summery, but I might give it a try
    GREAT review
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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    1. Well creepy is good sometimes...sometimes ;) If not too creepy

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  13. It sounds disturbing and fascinating at the same time.

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  14. I'd have to get used to the style of writing but it sounds interesting enough. I like the name Tristan Hart.

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    1. It sound familiar now..something else I mean

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  15. I still want to have a go at it at some point :) Thanks for the review, Anna!

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    1. Anna says thanks, I can't get her to come and comment ;)

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  16. You read something this horrible for fun? Not going to touch this one. I only read about Raw Hide once before, in a Laurell K. Hamilton book.

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  17. Interesting, but I don't think it's for me :)

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  18. Wow. This sounds like a very strange and dark read. I'm not sure it's the book for me, I think it would make me squirm, but I certainly enjoyed reading your thoughts Anna!

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  19. I was really curious to see what you thought of this one. It showed up in my mailbox a few weeks back. I'm curious enough to read it just as soon as I have time. I'm glad to hear you liked it.

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  20. This actually sounds interesting. And a new one to me. Thank you!

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  21. This sounds like an interesting book. I can see how the language could be tricky. Thanks for sharing- helpful review!
    ~Jess

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