The Last Heathen, Charles Montgomery’s non-fiction South Pacific saga about missionaries, murder, and more, is starting to make waves internationally. It was published here in Canada by Douglas & McIntyre two years ago and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction, and last month HarperCollins issued it in the U.S. and the U.K. as The Shark God (which, frankly, strikes Quillblog as a much punchier and more intriguing title).
Montgomery’s book has been scoring appreciative reviews. The Guardian calls it a “remarkable debut … a travel story as dark and twisted as one might ever wish to hear.” And a B+ Entertainment Weekly notice says the book “offers a heady blend of history, memoir, and anthropology.” The New York Times is appreciative, too: reviewer Holly Morris says “Montgomery is a thoughtful and entertaining guide, and his story has rich layers of history and anthropology.” Morris does have one criticism, though — she wished for more “introspection” and found the book too “outward-looking.” Now that’s a complaint you don’t hear every day.
(Thanks to Bookslut.com for a couple of the links.)