Reviews

goldpanners

Gold Mad profiles the uneasy marriage of two historical events, the rush for instant wealth and the back-to-the-land movement. When passions conflict, moral choices become complicated and sometimes deadly. A damn good yarn.

- Ron Smith, author of What Men Know About Women  and Kid Dynamite: The Gerry James Story
2013-08-14T21:49:31+00:00
Gold Mad profiles the uneasy marriage of two historical events, the rush for instant wealth and the back-to-the-land movement. When passions conflict, moral choices become complicated and sometimes deadly. A damn good yarn.
Michael Maser knows a lot about geology, mining and human nature and Gold Mad has much to recommend it. Though set in 19th-century British Columbia and California, Gold Mad is a parable for our times, drawing on a fascinating cast of characters, a veritable ship of fools who remind us not only of the perils of passion and reason, but also of the dangers and limits of technology. Few writers locate the mother-lode in their first novel, but Maser's gripping tale of gold fever comes close.

- Gary Geddes, author of Sailing Home and Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things
2013-08-14T21:47:27+00:00
Gold Mad is a parable for our times. It includes a fascinating cast of characters and reminds us of the perils of passion and reason. There's much to recommend this first novel.
I enjoyed Gold Mad very much. The characters all ring true, the situations are believable, the settings convincing. Well done you old dog!

- Jim Christy, author Scalawags, Sweet Assorted, Flesh and Blood, Junkman, The Redemption of Anna Dupree

 
2014-06-13T18:15:54+00:00
I enjoyed Gold Mad very much. The characters all ring true, the situations are believable, the settings convincing. Well done you old dog!

Other Reader Comments (Amazon reviews & personal correspondence)

– Great writing is always rooted in a sense of place, and so it is with Gold Mad, a new work of fiction from the creative mind of Michael Maser, journalist, educator, geologist and adventurer. In this narrative the dialogue is crisp, the story moves briskly and throughout there is a richness of detail that confers an authority and believability on characters and settings. This is not Maser’s first book, but it is his first work of fiction. I eagerly await his second.

– The author clearly has extensive history and passion for the search for the big gold nugget. His personal experience, his attention to detail and a natural ability with language show through in this entertaining and illuminating read. I found the tale delightful and anxiously turned the pages to see what would happen next.

– I very much enjoyed Maser’s yarn, which is at once both propulsive and reflective. The characters are larger-than-life, passionate, and capable of engendering sympathy and empathy – and, at times, not a little envy – in any reader with a sense of adventure. Having lived and worked in the Yukon Territory i can attest to just how deftly Mr. Maser captures this most subtle, mysterious, and infinitely seductive place which is as much a state of mind as a physical environment. Gold Mad is a veritable page-turner.

– I really enjoyed Gold Mad and didn’t want to put it down. As the weather was unpleasant it allowed me to say “to hell with everything”. I’m now waiting on your next thriller!

– Mr. Maser has written an excellent yarn built  into the expansive and dramatic setting of the Pacific Northwest.   His command of the English language is seamless as is his writing style.  The characters in this page turner are as unique and interesting as the idea of  finding your fortune lying in the bed of a remote mountain stream.  Mr. Maser’s knowledge of biology, botany, and geology are apparent throughout the book adding a wealth of knowledge to readers unfamiliar with our ‘wild Pacific  Northwest’.   An impressive first novel.

– What a fine piece of work…. Michael Maser has brought to life the ideologies of resource extraction for personal gain, the dehumanizing plunder of the “scientific” explorers and the utopian community settlers. And the clash is visceral. Michael’s extensive knowledge of gold mining and culture of the gold rush is evident.

– A tale that will make your blood run cold by the men who moil for gold… this book reminds me of the CBC/BBC historical TV series Murdoch Mysteries. Like other Canadian authors including Margret Atwood and Robert Sawyer, the story explores what drives people and their relationship with other individuals, their culture, community and environment. … The author’s love and experience with gold exploration, the west coast, its history and people serves to illustrate the tale.

Gold Mad is an irresistible chronicle of culture which reminds me of “East of Eden” and “Gangs of New York”, both of which illuminate the processes and effects of human greed, imagination, invention, perseverance and how their exponents changed and change the world, as well as the lives around and following them. There is much more to this story, and I hope Mr. Maser will grant it to us.

– This is a big story involving on-the-ground realities that most, including me, have never experienced personally, hands-on. But the author’s ability to describe/elaborate everything from the harsh environments to the science, history and human interaction, including treachery, bring this tale right to me. He has made it seem familiar, almost known.
 

Media Reviews

– Thanks to Jan DeGrass of the Coast Reporter for her review of Gold Mad (October 2013), found here.  And a correction to  Jan’s review: my great-grandfather, Alexander Lyon, didn’t “end up” in Port Hardy; he founded it in 1901 with his wife Sarah Hunt (she of the renowned Hunt family, who has contributed so much to First Nations culture in BC).)

– Thanks to Heather Jeal of The Local for her review of Gold Mad and late-night interview!

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