The Redemption Factory

The Redemption Factory

5.0 1
by Sam Millar

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A compelling story about the struggle to acknowledge a wrong, about loyalty and corruption, about life and death.


A compelling story about the struggle to acknowledge a wrong, about loyalty and corruption, about life and death.

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Kirkus Reviews
A Northern Irish writer stirs savagery, romance and family mystery into a pool of blood and guts. Setting the tone emphatically and early, memoirist Millar (On the Brinks, 2003, not reviewed) sets the first chapter of his novel in an abattoir where Paul Goodman, out of work for a year, endures humiliating, gut-churningly gory initiation rites in order to nail a job. His intimidating boss, Shank, also employs his own two daughters: Violet, a scarred, kitten-drowning psychopath; and Geordie, who suffers from a creeping muscle-wasting disease and wears metal braces on her legs. Goodman, a snooker fanatic whose father disappeared when he was young, falls for Geordie, earning the displeasure of his best friend, the ironically named Lucky. Paul also has a benefactor, Philip Kennedy, who runs the local pawnshop owned by his obese, diabetic wife and sells Paul a beautiful snooker cue. Grotesque characters (especially the females), bodily functions and fluids and overwrought emotions characterize this short, gothic semi-fable in which not much happens until Lucky witnesses a murder committed by Shank and brings down bloody retribution on the heads of himself and Paul. It is left to Geordie, aided by Kennedy-a conscience-stricken ex-hitman responsible for the murder of Paul's father, for a sectarian crime he did not commit-to come to the rescue. Millar's brief and brutal tale of fathers-good, bad and absent-takes place in a twilight zone only rarely pierced by references to place and time. Occasional poetic phrases and gestures to high-flown themes like repentance and forgiveness fail to dislodge the theatrical, noir-ish criminality. Heavily delineated genre fiction cross-cut with psychologicalparable and some regional punch, but too devoted to viscera and effluvia.

Product Details

O'Brien Press, Limited, The
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Sam Millar lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and is married with three children. He has enjoyed critical and professional acclaim for his work in literary publications throughout Europe, Africa, Australia, and America. A winner of the Brian Moore Short Story Award for his short story "Rain" in 1998 he has also been short-listed for numerous other literary awards including the Martin Healy Short Story Award and The Cork Literary Review Award.

Two of his stories, "New York" and the award-winning "Rain" have both been performed and transmitted by BBC radio. DARK SOULS was his first novel and ON THE BRINKS is an autobiographical memoir.

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The Redemption Factory 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
tommy007 More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be shocking as well as Millar's most memorable. I know a lot of his fans will disagree because of the Kane series of books, but for me, I have always loved his stand-alone books such as The Darkness of Bones and Dark Souls. Why this book was never made into a movie, is beyond me. It's a classic tale of redemption in its purest if bloody form. Although this is not a Karl Kane book, readers of crime noir will not be disappointed. Cyrus Nowrasteh, award-winning writer/director, Warner Brothers, had this to say about the book: "While most writers sit in their study and make it up, Sam Millar has lived it and every sentence in his new novel, The Redemption Factory, evokes a searing truth about men, their dark past, and the code by which they live. Great title, great read. Disturbingly brutal. I enjoyed it immensely."