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A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international-bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries. For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international-bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries. For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of freedom to explore the city once visited by his literary hero, Robert Louis Stevenson, and things only get better when he meets a collector who claims to have the original manuscripts of both the first draft of Jekyll and Hyde and the never-published The Travelling Companion (both thought to have been destroyed). Then Ron meets the man’s mysterious assistant, and a reckless obsession stirs inside him. As the life he knew back home in Scotland fades from memory, he desperately seeks the secret lying within Stevenson’s long-lost pages. . . . The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.


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A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international-bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries. For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international-bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries. For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of freedom to explore the city once visited by his literary hero, Robert Louis Stevenson, and things only get better when he meets a collector who claims to have the original manuscripts of both the first draft of Jekyll and Hyde and the never-published The Travelling Companion (both thought to have been destroyed). Then Ron meets the man’s mysterious assistant, and a reckless obsession stirs inside him. As the life he knew back home in Scotland fades from memory, he desperately seeks the secret lying within Stevenson’s long-lost pages. . . . The Bibliomysteries are a series of short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors.

30 review for The Travelling Companion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lynx

    Recent graduate Ronald Hastie knows it's time to get out of Edinburgh and open up his world. Inspired by his thesis subject, Robert Louis Stevenson, he decides to travel to Paris and lands a job at the legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Company. It's on an errand for his boss that he meets an eccentric collector who claims to possess not one but two of Stevenson's unpublished works, the first draft of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the once thought to be destroyed Travelling Companion. As he reads Recent graduate Ronald Hastie knows it's time to get out of Edinburgh and open up his world. Inspired by his thesis subject, Robert Louis Stevenson, he decides to travel to Paris and lands a job at the legendary bookstore Shakespeare and Company. It's on an errand for his boss that he meets an eccentric collector who claims to possess not one but two of Stevenson's unpublished works, the first draft of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the once thought to be destroyed Travelling Companion. As he reads on and the true story behind the material begins unravelling, so does Ronald. Can it be true? Can he turn back the page and forget or is it his fate to reveal the truth? Another great piece in the Bibliomystery Series! Throughly enjoyed this one, kept me interested and guessing all the way through. Recommend for anyone looking for a fun, short mystery! *Thank you Open Road Media and Netgalley for this review copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Bibliomysteries. What an ingenious idea. Whoever came up with it deserves fresh baked cookies or something. Deadly tales about deadly books. Seriously ingenious, right up my alley too. I love books about books. Haven't had the pleasure to read Rankin before, he's chiefly known for his series, I dislike series, but based on this stand alone novella he's very good and this is a clever imaginative take on the disturbing backstory behind the most famous literary tale of a split personality. Rankin h Bibliomysteries. What an ingenious idea. Whoever came up with it deserves fresh baked cookies or something. Deadly tales about deadly books. Seriously ingenious, right up my alley too. I love books about books. Haven't had the pleasure to read Rankin before, he's chiefly known for his series, I dislike series, but based on this stand alone novella he's very good and this is a clever imaginative take on the disturbing backstory behind the most famous literary tale of a split personality. Rankin has done the original proud. Pleasure to read, great way to spend an hour. Enthusiastically recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Set in the early 1980s for no discernible reason, a young Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson scholar called Ronald Hastie spends his summer in Paris working at the world-famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop. He meets an eccentric playboy who reveals that he not only possesses the presumed-destroyed first draft of Jekyll and Hyde but also has Stevenson’s original, unpublished manuscript, The Travelling Companion. And as Ronald learns of the true inspiration behind Jekyll and Hyde, something evil Set in the early 1980s for no discernible reason, a young Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson scholar called Ronald Hastie spends his summer in Paris working at the world-famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop. He meets an eccentric playboy who reveals that he not only possesses the presumed-destroyed first draft of Jekyll and Hyde but also has Stevenson’s original, unpublished manuscript, The Travelling Companion. And as Ronald learns of the true inspiration behind Jekyll and Hyde, something evil stirs within him… Part of the Bibliomysteries series (“Deadly Tales About Deadly Books”), Ian Rankin’s The Travelling Companion is a story of two halves. The first half is quite dull as our protagonist gushes about books in general without being especially interesting about it while Rankin does little with the story. But the second half definitely picks up even if, upon closer inspection, the reader has to accept some rushed and silly narrative jumps. The similarities to Jekyll and Hyde are there (not least in the short format of the book) with the theme of opposites and halves, as well as a dash of fantasy horror at the right moment. That said the changes in the second half feel a bit extreme and arbitrary while underscoring the incorrect assumption that Stevenson’s tale was a commentary on substance abuse. But the sudden shift does make the story compelling, especially in contrast to the dreary first half, so I can forgive Rankin the clumsy 180. Rankin is as much a Stevenson fan as the characters in his story and you’ll learn about the famous writer through reading this even if quite a bit of his life was made up to suit the tale’s twists and turns. For example, Stevenson didn’t know anyone called Hythe nor did he write a novel, unpublished or not, called The Travelling Companion. The story takes a while to get going and the finale is a bit hammy in relying upon heavy exposition, but it’s a quick and accessible read that mildly entertains. Bibliophiles will like this even more for the book-porn aspect!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Worth

    Four and a half stars! I really felt transported into another world reading this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maria-Francisca Abed

    A long short story which captures your attention from beginning to end!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Goves

    I picked this up whilst waiting for my sister in a bookshop and had to buy it as it drew me straight in. I finished it that afternoon. The version I bought was a hard back with a red cover which looks mysterious and pleasing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer K

    A slim, attractive volume on the Fast Read shelf of the local library 7:55 Tuesday evening. With the library closing at 8:00 it was a last minute acquisition. And well worth the borrow. Like Jekyll and Hyde the plot is two parts. With the first more ordinary (but who wouldn't love to be ordinary enough to work in an English bookshop in Paris over a summer break before embarking on a PhD) and the second more bizarre, the book has a clever conclusion. And what follows the conclusion - a list! Of 2 A slim, attractive volume on the Fast Read shelf of the local library 7:55 Tuesday evening. With the library closing at 8:00 it was a last minute acquisition. And well worth the borrow. Like Jekyll and Hyde the plot is two parts. With the first more ordinary (but who wouldn't love to be ordinary enough to work in an English bookshop in Paris over a summer break before embarking on a PhD) and the second more bizarre, the book has a clever conclusion. And what follows the conclusion - a list! Of 26 short stories. From world class crime authors noted as "masters of their craft". Someone else has succinctly put - deadly tales about deadly books. Thus. For a small investment from each of the 26 pay cycles across any single FY ones reading Balance Sheet can accumulate a decent number of intellectual Current Assets plus 26 Non-Current assets that look so beautiful on the bookshelf there will never be the need to invoke depreciation. All, from the list of authors, with very little potential to increased Liabilities.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jacqie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I've never tried Ian Rankin before, but know that he's one of the powerhouses of Scottish crime. I thought this little 80 page book would be a way to make an entry into his work. I should know better by now- it's so hard to do well in this sort of shortened format, and this one was fine, but not more than just fine. I was intrigued in the beginning. The narrator takes a job in an English-language bookshop in Paris, and I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I've never tried Ian Rankin before, but know that he's one of the powerhouses of Scottish crime. I thought this little 80 page book would be a way to make an entry into his work. I should know better by now- it's so hard to do well in this sort of shortened format, and this one was fine, but not more than just fine. I was intrigued in the beginning. The narrator takes a job in an English-language bookshop in Paris, and who wouldn't want to do that? Plus, he ends up on the trail of a manuscript by Robert Louis Stevenson (upon whom he's writing his dissertation) previously thought lost. How could this not be fun? And I will say that Rankin can write. He's good with setting, sets tension nicely.Unfortunately, his POV character is a supremely repressed jerk who can't even manage to have fun in Paris because of his uber-thrifty Scottish ways. He's an unreliable narrator, and he becomes more unreliable as you read on. I've spoiler-warninged this, so I feel okay about saying that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde come up in the book too. Our "hero" is quite mysogynist, and I don't know enough about Rankin to know how much I should be bothered by this. In the end, it's not a mystery but a horror story, and I guess I'll leave it at that.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hastings75

    A quick read of a book that I secured at the Auckland Writers Festival after listening to Ian Rankin talk about everything from his books, his local pub and his friendship with Don McGlashin of The Muttonbirds! I enjoyed the simple premise of the book and an intriguing plot/theme. There is not too much to say about the book without spoiling the ending but to say, well worth a read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Highton

    A novella from Rankin, set in a Parisian summer and following a strange journey of a postgraduate literature student from Edinburgh

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fictionophile

    Open Road Media have published a series of Bibliomysteries (Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors). I have read three of them. The first one I read and enjoyed was by Elizabeth George called “The mysterious disappearance of the reluctant book fairy” ; the second was the wonderful “Every seven years” by Denise Mina. The blurb from Open Road Media: A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus Open Road Media have published a series of Bibliomysteries (Short tales about deadly books, by top mystery authors). I have read three of them. The first one I read and enjoyed was by Elizabeth George called “The mysterious disappearance of the reluctant book fairy” ; the second was the wonderful “Every seven years” by Denise Mina. The blurb from Open Road Media: A thrilling new novella about a Jekyll and Hyde–obsessed Scot in Paris from the international bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus mysteries. For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. Working part-time in exchange for room and board leaves plenty of freedom to explore the city once visited by his literary hero, Robert Louis Stevenson, and things only get better when he meets a collector who claims to have the original manuscripts of both the first draft of Jekyll and Hyde and the never-published The Travelling Companion (both thought to have been destroyed). Then Ron meets the man’s mysterious assistant, and a reckless obsession stirs inside him. As the life he knew back home in Scotland fades from memory, he desperately seeks the secret lying within Stevenson’s long-lost pages. . . . The story opens with a young man from Edinburgh on a summer trip to Paris. He is a literature major at university and he is writing his thesis on Robert Louis Stevenson who spent a fair bit of time in Paris. He gets a job at the infamous bookshop “Shakespeare & Co.” where he does minimal labor in return for a place to sleep. Much like the character in Stevenson’s novel “The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, the young man transforms from a nice young college student to something far darker once he roams the streets of Paris and meets an intriguing book collector and an enigmatic young woman named Alice. An intriguing and somewhat melancholy story, “The travelling companion” is a quick and entertaining read. Thanks to Open Road Media via NetGalley for providing me with this novella for review purposes. My rating: 3 1/2 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    You’re a reader, aren’t you? What if you had the chance to see – and own – a legendary manuscript by one of our favorite writers that everyone thought had been destroyed? That’s what happens to Ronald Hastie, in Paris for the summer, on the trail of one of his favorite authors, Robert Louis Stevenson, who will also be the subject of his thesis at his university. He happens to meet the owner of Paris’s fabled bookstore, Shkespeare and CO., not the original store – that closed with the Nazi occupat You’re a reader, aren’t you? What if you had the chance to see – and own – a legendary manuscript by one of our favorite writers that everyone thought had been destroyed? That’s what happens to Ronald Hastie, in Paris for the summer, on the trail of one of his favorite authors, Robert Louis Stevenson, who will also be the subject of his thesis at his university. He happens to meet the owner of Paris’s fabled bookstore, Shkespeare and CO., not the original store – that closed with the Nazi occupation during the Second World War – but a renamed small bookstore – one that rarely sells a volume – and is handed a job there – well, at least a place to stay. But that’s not where he happens to hear about Robert Louis Stevenson’s lost first writing of his memorable, THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, and his lesser known lost work, THE TRAVELING COMPANION. Those he hears about at the home of a friend and fellow book collector of the store’s owner. After a glass of wine or more at the book collector’s home, and with a partial copy of both manuscripts in hand, Ronald begins changing, from his staid Protestant, Edinburgh self, to an almost Mr Hyde creature. What has happened to the student, in love with a woman back home, and with her ready for a much closer relationship? Grab this short tale by one of the modern masters that will hold you in its grip as surely as Ronald is held by whatever strange spirit possesses him – you will not regret it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Blackburn

    The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin- Wow! This is a novella from the highly respected crime novelist, author of the Inspector Rebus series and many others and quite unexpectedly very, very good. A young college graduate from Scotland arrives in Paris one summer, intent on working on his doctorate and see some of the world. His thesis is focused on the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, an obsession of his. He meets a man who says he possesses long-lost manuscripts of Stevenson, bu The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin- Wow! This is a novella from the highly respected crime novelist, author of the Inspector Rebus series and many others and quite unexpectedly very, very good. A young college graduate from Scotland arrives in Paris one summer, intent on working on his doctorate and see some of the world. His thesis is focused on the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, an obsession of his. He meets a man who says he possesses long-lost manuscripts of Stevenson, but the graduate is only allowed to see these in small excerpts. Meanwhile, The young man is changing, his moods and behavior become more wild with every passing day as he reads these lost texts. Raised in a proper, conservative family, he gradually becomes more and more unpredictable and untamed. I've never read any of Ian Rankin's books before, but I plan to change that right away. The narration and characters of this story were first rate. Also this short book is part of a series by various authors called Bibliomysteries, from Mysterious Press and Open Road. If the quality here is maintained, it would be an interesting series indeed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Iris Barrogan

    Set in Paris, but connected to Stevenson? Wow. When I first saw the book I admit I was attracted by the beautiful cover, more drawn to it actually. Then I read the two lines summary and I knew in a second I had to buy it. The length fits perfectly with the story, it serves the purpose of keeping a fair amount of things unsaid, so that the reader arrives at the last few pages with the impression that there's something missing. I liked the suspence and the final revelation, and the breadcrumbs sca Set in Paris, but connected to Stevenson? Wow. When I first saw the book I admit I was attracted by the beautiful cover, more drawn to it actually. Then I read the two lines summary and I knew in a second I had to buy it. The length fits perfectly with the story, it serves the purpose of keeping a fair amount of things unsaid, so that the reader arrives at the last few pages with the impression that there's something missing. I liked the suspence and the final revelation, and the breadcrumbs scattered here and there you have to follow to draw a map of Ronald's journey into madness. What can I say about Turk and Alice? Two shady and mysterious characters: we don't know who is good and who is bad, they are both kept in a grey area, trying to undermine Ronald's confidence and perception of the other, until the very end, when their true motives are brought out into the open, but it's too late. At that point there's no turning back. Bought it, read it, loved it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    In this latest Bibliomystery, Ian Rankin temporarily leaves behind his Inspector Rebus series to follow a young Scot college graduate who is spending his summer in Paris, intending to soak up some of the ambience of his favorite author, the focus of his intended further education, Robert Louis Stevenson. It's the 1980s and he finds a job working for board at Shakespeare & Company. The job leads him to a man who may have access to Stevenson manuscripts long thought lost...and to other things as w In this latest Bibliomystery, Ian Rankin temporarily leaves behind his Inspector Rebus series to follow a young Scot college graduate who is spending his summer in Paris, intending to soak up some of the ambience of his favorite author, the focus of his intended further education, Robert Louis Stevenson. It's the 1980s and he finds a job working for board at Shakespeare & Company. The job leads him to a man who may have access to Stevenson manuscripts long thought lost...and to other things as well. What Rankin does with this premise is quite well done actually, fitting well within this novella format. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy mysteries with literary bents and twists and turns. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer

    Review: THE TRAVELING COMPANION by Ian Rankin (A Bibliophile Mystery) An exciting novella illustrating art' s imitation of life, and the weight of the past extending into the present, THE TRAVELING COMPANION relates the story of a young man, newly graduated from the University of Edinburgh, who spends a summer in Paris before returning to commence his Ph.D. work on the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Working at a bookshop, a collector informs him of an existent manuscript of THE TRAVELING COMPANION Review: THE TRAVELING COMPANION by Ian Rankin (A Bibliophile Mystery) An exciting novella illustrating art' s imitation of life, and the weight of the past extending into the present, THE TRAVELING COMPANION relates the story of a young man, newly graduated from the University of Edinburgh, who spends a summer in Paris before returning to commence his Ph.D. work on the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Working at a bookshop, a collector informs him of an existent manuscript of THE TRAVELING COMPANION, a lost Stevenson work. As the narrator's experiences expand, so does his latent psyche, with electrifying and disastrous consequences.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Author Ian Rankin has been a long time fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, and here he finds a nice opportunity to weave a tale around his hero's missing manuscripts. Paris provides the backdrop to a fast paced & enjoyable adventure. Author Ian Rankin has been a long time fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, and here he finds a nice opportunity to weave a tale around his hero's missing manuscripts. Paris provides the backdrop to a fast paced & enjoyable adventure.

  18. 4 out of 5

    patrick crowley

    Have been reading Rebus, this was disappointing.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I had a pile of other books in my hand as I headed to the self-serve checkout at the library, but I spied this en route and fell for the cover. The designer doesn’t even get a mention but it’s his/her cunning design that made me add it to the pile without even looking at the name of the author. Who I have should have recognised because he’s a stalwart of our literary festivals (even though #DuckingForCover I would hesitate to call him a literary author). Anyway, this short story packaged to look I had a pile of other books in my hand as I headed to the self-serve checkout at the library, but I spied this en route and fell for the cover. The designer doesn’t even get a mention but it’s his/her cunning design that made me add it to the pile without even looking at the name of the author. Who I have should have recognised because he’s a stalwart of our literary festivals (even though #DuckingForCover I would hesitate to call him a literary author). Anyway, this short story packaged to look like a book is apparently part of a series called Bibliomysteries, and it sells for about $12.00. Which seems a lot to pay for a ‘book’ you can read in 20 minutes. Riffing on RL Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, it reminded me of The Aspern Papers by Henry James. (Which you can read online for free at Gutenberg Project, and possibly enjoy more). Seriously, there is not much more to say about The Travelling Companion than that. I do not understand the preoccupation with crime that fuels the crime fiction and true crime book industry, but I know that Rankin is enormously popular, and (once I realised who wrote it) I expected it to be well-crafted if not exactly to my taste. But IMHO it’s not. The first half of the story is dull, and the second half of it is silly. A young university graduate from Edinburgh stumbles into employment at Shakespeare and Company #2 and under the influence of drugs and bad company stops being the sensible Scot that he had been, breaking a girlfriend’s heart in the process. Then he stumbles into the acquaintance of someone who purports to have the destroyed drafts of RL Stevenson’s racier texts. How this resolves itself is so clearly foreshadowed by the texts it references, that all I can say is that some readers are easily pleased. There are five-star reviews along with some bemused two- and three-star ones at Goodreads. I gave it two because I liked the cover.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    I love biblio-mysteries, so the blurb of this book really caught my attention. I was initially hesitant because I'm not a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and perhaps I should have given more weight to that instinct - just as was the case with Stevenson's novella, I was hooked by the concept, but closed the book unimpressed. I was so excited about the premise promised to me - lit student working at a bookstore in Paris while on holiday, and on the trail o I love biblio-mysteries, so the blurb of this book really caught my attention. I was initially hesitant because I'm not a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and perhaps I should have given more weight to that instinct - just as was the case with Stevenson's novella, I was hooked by the concept, but closed the book unimpressed. I was so excited about the premise promised to me - lit student working at a bookstore in Paris while on holiday, and on the trail of a previously lost manuscript? Sounds like my kind of book! However, I felt that this premise ended up being mostly squandered as the book's pacing was just off-putting. This might have been due to the short page count, but the events of the book happened with little to no setup. The ending was abrupt and left me thinking, "wait, what did I just read?" The so called biblio-mystery also was a bit simplistic, and the themes from Stevenson's original were mirrored shallowly at best. On a good note, the ending was surprising, and I did enjoy the darker aspects of the book. I might even be tempted to pick up some other books in the Bibliomysteries. I will also note that the book's red cover was so stunning, I just had to pick it up. This beautifully decorated book only gets two stars from me because, just as Stevenson warns in his original story, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Puckett

    I found this novella quite interesting, but mostly because of my current status as a Shakespeare and Company Tumbleweed. The story is centered around a protagonist who is working as a Tumbleweed at the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. Rankin himself was a Tumbleweed, and shares many characteristics with his narrator: both born in the same year, both are from Edinburgh, both have made a study of Robert Louis Stevenson's work, both met George Whitman over a request for a cigarette (w I found this novella quite interesting, but mostly because of my current status as a Shakespeare and Company Tumbleweed. The story is centered around a protagonist who is working as a Tumbleweed at the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. Rankin himself was a Tumbleweed, and shares many characteristics with his narrator: both born in the same year, both are from Edinburgh, both have made a study of Robert Louis Stevenson's work, both met George Whitman over a request for a cigarette (which can be verified in Rankin's contribution to the Shakespeare & Co. history book). However, the novella quickly dips deeper and deeper into fiction with the appearance of a RLS's long-lost manuscripts, the narrator's descent into depravity with the help of a mysterious woman, and the ultimate climax. I loved the allusions to the bookshop, Paris, and Edinburgh. I felt very connected to Rankin's novel based on my own knowledge of the subjects and direct experience. But it was slightly too jarring and over-the-top for me to fully appreciate it. I picked it up to read with no context, amidst reading many very subtle works of fiction, so that likely had an effect on my reading. It's a quick read, so I recommend it if you like strange fiction or any of the above subjects mentioned.

  22. 4 out of 5

    SA_Aslam_

    Rankin builds up to the climax of this short story well but it seems to be a bit rushed towards the end. It wasn't the most original of premises and Ronald's transformation is a bit unbelievable for a Presbyterian (as described in the story). I also hoped his "carbonated water" girlfriend would have slapped him across the face and had a holiday on her own. I know there are meant to be parallels with Stevenson's life but it's a pity that the modern female characters are all still the predictable st Rankin builds up to the climax of this short story well but it seems to be a bit rushed towards the end. It wasn't the most original of premises and Ronald's transformation is a bit unbelievable for a Presbyterian (as described in the story). I also hoped his "carbonated water" girlfriend would have slapped him across the face and had a holiday on her own. I know there are meant to be parallels with Stevenson's life but it's a pity that the modern female characters are all still the predictable stereotypes serving for sex, appendages, mystery and of course tragic figures. In this respect the author's mind seems to fill a nutshell.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Goldsmith

    In reality this is more of a short story than a novella. Ian Rankin tells the tale of a man coming from Scotland, living in Paris, but dreaming of the past, obsessed with the author Robert Louis Stevenson and the possibility of access to a lost manuscript of his. I think this book is part of a series that looks to tap into literary classics, this one connecting with the great Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde. It's well written, fun, but over far too quickly. I'd have been happier if it was 2-3 times longer. In reality this is more of a short story than a novella. Ian Rankin tells the tale of a man coming from Scotland, living in Paris, but dreaming of the past, obsessed with the author Robert Louis Stevenson and the possibility of access to a lost manuscript of his. I think this book is part of a series that looks to tap into literary classics, this one connecting with the great Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde. It's well written, fun, but over far too quickly. I'd have been happier if it was 2-3 times longer.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aisha

    For recent college graduate Ronald Hastie, a job at the legendary Shakespeare and Company bookshop offers the perfect occupation during a summer abroad in Paris. A peculiar short story based on Robert Louis Stevenson's lost works. I don't know much about the works of Robert Louis Stevenson so this was really intriguing. I liked the set up and the sudden switch in the story line. The characters were good and so well drawn in such a short time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Loved the size of this book, it's colour, it's brevity and most importantly - the story. I was pleasantly surprised at the end, and by surprised, I mean I didn't see it coming until it was there. I don't want to say too much about this already short book - but if you have limited reading time or need a good read for that train trip, grab yourself a copy of The Travelling Companion. A great quick read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan Wright

    While I'm usually a fan of Ian Rankin, I found this short story just too weird to really engage me. The idea of the post-grad student summering in Paris getting the opportunity to view an original manuscript thought to have been lost was fine but the other side to the tale was just illogical and some of the leaps of faith the reader has to make to reach the final conclusion were a step too far from me. I tend to avoid shorts as I feel they rarely develop the story and characters enough and I thi While I'm usually a fan of Ian Rankin, I found this short story just too weird to really engage me. The idea of the post-grad student summering in Paris getting the opportunity to view an original manuscript thought to have been lost was fine but the other side to the tale was just illogical and some of the leaps of faith the reader has to make to reach the final conclusion were a step too far from me. I tend to avoid shorts as I feel they rarely develop the story and characters enough and I think that may be part of the problem here, perhaps if it was a bit longer it would be easier to follow/ unnderstand some of the characters choices.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jesus

    The book reads fast (mainly because it is short) and I found the argument around a manuscript lost for centuries super engaging (like in the Club Dumas). However, the story quickly becomes predictable. Moreover, as in many Rankin books the end feels rushed and a bit forced. It is scant in descriptions and some of the characters feel a bit sketchy (perhaps because of being a short story which could have been longer). Nonetheless, being short is always a plus.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    A young Scottish man researching Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) travels to Paris and stumbles across two manuscripts (including The Travelling Companion) previously thought to have been destroyed by Stevenson. This is a short, easy-to-read book which takes an unexpected dark twist towards the end

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    More horror than mystery, I really enjoyed this while it lasted but was left a bit at a loss by the ending that's predictable and somewhat unsatisfying. I'm a fan of Rankin so I don't say that with malice but the payoff didn't quite do it for me. 3 stars nonetheless, could have have been 4 with a better ending.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alastair Scollay

    I've been a huge fan of Ian Rankin and the Rebus books for a long time now. In this novella, he goes in a very different direction. It's an interesting work, with nods to quite a few literary classics. Well worth a read!

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