The Complete Edition.
Includes the engraved frontispiece and (fictional) dedication and with a new preface by Ian Rankin.
It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.
Hogg's book is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events: is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?
'Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation.' Ian Rankin 'One of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely.' Philip Pullman 'A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance.' Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement '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 makes it at once so gripping ad 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 AN INTRODUCTION BY LUCY HUGHES-HALLETT Robert is a difficult and disturbed young man. He comes from a troubled family background and turns to his Calvinist faith for solace but finds it hard to get along with other people, particularly his brother and his dissolute father. After he falls in with the mysterious and charming Gil-Martin his actions become more and more extreme. He convinces himself that he is one of the lucky few who have been chosen for heaven and that therefore all his actions automatically right and good...even murder.