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The Grail-bookcover

By: Ian McLachlan

The Grail

Pages: 190 Ratings: 5.0
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Sean McQuire, a five-year-old Liverpool boy, immigrates to Canada with his parents. He returns to his previous home in Woolton, Liverpool, at the age of 10. Although born in England, he faces a new culture with all its problems.

Later, he attempts to free himself from the roots of his childhood, studying at Liverpool university and becoming a teacher in London. This giddy journey from boy to man is a struggle to find love and acclaim. From London, he emigrates to Germany, experiencing another new culture and some sense of stability. This false sense of security breaks down. His search for identity and a sense in life culminate in a pilgrimage to America, from New York to San Francisco and down to the Mexican border where the contacts with people become epiphanies to a possible new life.

The reader is given hot and cold changes in rapid movements from comedy to tragedy.

Ian McLachlan was born in 1947 and spent his first five years of childhood in Liverpool. In 1952, his parents emigrated to Canada. On returning to England, he finished his school education and after his studies at Liverpool University, he worked as a teacher in London. In 1971, Ian and his first wife emigrated to Germany where he taught English. After completing his MA at the Ruhr University, Bochum, he took on a post at a business and technical college. He retired from teaching in 2013 and lives in Herten, North Rhine Westphalia with his second wife and his dog.

Customer Reviews
3 reviews
3 reviews
  • Heribert Seifert

    Since Brexit, the relationship between Great Britain and the European Continent seems to have become extremely complicated. The “Grail” by Ian McLachlan is a novel about the good old days during which this was not the case. The book concerns a young British man who comes to Europe, in this case Germany, and due to professional and private reasons has remained. With gentle irony and a sharp sense of situational comedy, the hero of the novel is introduced to a foreign world with peculiar rituals, and on occasion, idiosyncratic views of the world. To his surprise, and despite his British reticence, he experiences becoming continually more and more German. A wisp of melancholia, as regards his national origin mixes with affection and openness for the new.
    In times when bitter struggles concerning identities are being disputed, this is a novel which portrays the possibilities for encounters and understanding between people of varying traditions and cultural imprints with sensitivity and humour. The characters who are introduced here and who have assisted the ‘hero’ within his new country, remain positively in one’s memory and the reader hopes that they will not only belong to the past but also once again to the future.

  • A very interesting life's journey

    The author takes the reader on a tour of the main character's life, its many stops along the way and the ups and downs that he faced. I truly felt that I could understand how Sean (the main character) felt as he moved from place to place, his different professional and educational paths and the joys, heartbreaks and tragedies he faced. He maintained his humanity throughout. The places Sean lived and things he did are well portrayed and so believable.
    Reading this book was very enjoyable and I was finished before I knew it. The next book by the author is eagerly anticipated by me. I am sure that when you read The Grail, you will feel the same way.

  • Jutta Tatzelt

    An interesting story that takes the reader on a journey to different cultures and mentalities and shows their impact on the main character's life from his boyhood to adulthood. I very much enjoyed reading it learning about the UK, Canada, Germany, and the U.S.

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