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One Million Euro

Rorie Smith

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Tan Tan Books

Published : 2014

Copyright : Rorie Smith 2014

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9929503-2-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9929503-2-3

Publisher's Write-Up

A group of pilgrims led by the long dead poet Walt Whitman and the legendary football manager Sir Roy Babadouche are walking the Camino de Santiago. In the group are Echo the African Autodidact, Jack the Devon publican, and an unlikely bank robber called Oscar Bebbington. Also in the group are a socialist climber called Wilson, a dentist by the name of Denis Dennis and Venezia, a jolie Quebecoise. Two donkeys carry their equipment.

They are very modern pilgrims as none of them believes in God. Instead they declare: 'We are on pilgrimage to regain our humanity.'

The group start their pilgrimage near Marciac in southern France, crossing into Spain via the Col du Somport. Their journey, a distance of 650 miles, takes them a total of 54 days. One Million Euro recounts their many and strange adventures. During the course of the journey the pilgrims also tell stories of their lives. Some of these stories are true, but others are made up.

See the Tan Tan Books website for more information on Rorie Smith.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Nigel (310115) Rating (8/10)

Review by Nigel
Rating 8/10
One Million Euro is a fictional travelogue following six pilgrims and two donkeys walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James. The pilgrims set off from Marciac in southern France, crossing into Spain via the Col du Somport, to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwest Spain. Apparently many take up this route as a form of spiritual path or retreat, for their spiritual growth. Early in the journey the six pilgrims meet two others and they agree to continue on together, making them eight. The two late arrivals are better known, being Walt Whitman and the legendary football manager Sir Roy Babadouche.

To give a bit of context for those that don’t know here is some background on the two more famous pilgrims; Walt Whitman was born in 1819 and died in 1892. He was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality – from Google, see here for full article here. Sir Roy Babadouche doesn’t exist as far as we can tell (other readers with a better knowledge of football managers will probably recognise his characteristics and know who he is but I suppose it can only really be one). However, for the purposes of the story, to others on the pilgrimage he is a well-known football manager with a fiery personality quick to anger.

As the pilgrimage progresses we learn about each of the participants' backgrounds and what brought them together as they tell their stories and get to know one another better. Throw into the mix the fact that one of them has One Million Euro from a bank robbery and that they are being chased by El Lobo, the Wolf, the most notorious bank robber in all of Spain, and you have an unusual tale.

Upon finishing if I had to sum up One Million Euro in a single word I would say surreal. It is difficult to explain but the characters know they are in a book or alternatively the author of the narrative lets us know what the characters think about what will be in the book. At times they talk about the reader saying what should and shouldn’t be included and where the story should go. All-in-all an interesting read. As with Rorie’s other works it is well written and full of wonderful observations on human nature. I loved the bit where Jack, who takes care of the donkeys, named Thatcher and Blair, finds out Thatcher is actually the mother of Blair – brilliant.
Nigel (31st January 2015)

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