Black Bottle Man by Craig RussellBlack Bottle Man by Craig Russell

Black Bottle Man

byCraig Russell

Paperback | March 15, 2010

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Winner - Gold Medal Moonbeam AwardsFinalist - Aurora AwardsFinalist - McNally Robinson Book for Young People AwardA CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens selectionForced to move every twelve days, what would happen to your life?1927. Rembrandt is the only child in the tiny community of Three Farms. Soon his two aunts grow desperate for babies of their own. A man wearing a black top-coat and a glad-ta-meet-ya smile arrives with a magic bottle and a deadly deal is made. Determined to undo the wager, Rembrandt, Pa, and Uncle Thompson embark on the journey of their lives, for if they stay in one place for more than twelve days terrible things happen. But where and when will they find a champion capable of defeating the Black Bottle Man? Time ticks.Lives change.Every twelve days. . .
Craig Russell grew up on what may be the flattest half-section of land on the planet, six miles north of Carman, Manitoba. He now is now a lawyer and lives in Brandon.
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Title:Black Bottle ManFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.44 inPublished:March 15, 2010Publisher:Great Plains PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1894283996

ISBN - 13:9781894283991

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I loved Black Bottle Man! It was a fantastic read - parts of it made me smile and and some parts had me in tears. The story had me hooked from the first page to the last. I found the storyline complex yet simple at the same time. It's a book I'm sure that I will read again and again, each time decoding a bit more of it.
Date published: 2011-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "A Great story." A well written story that is very hard to put down. The main character Rembrandt draws you in for a thrilling and emotional journey. This book is not just for teens.
Date published: 2011-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Real" Soul"Searcher The Black bottle Man is a seemingly rather short book with which when you are done reading you have to catch your breath. You start with this whirl wind of a story and intrigue. All of a sudden you are sucked into this tornado that takes you all across the continent and decades of time. You feel like you are with Rembrandt ,who has a formidable task ahead of him. You are amazed that one minute you are holding your breath, the next you are chuckling. Well done Craig, look forward to the next book.
Date published: 2010-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! Craig Russell's Black Bottle Man is a brilliantly told story of temptation, sacrifice, mercy, honor and above all....love. While reading it, you can't help but identify with every one of the characters. Their struggles become your struggles. The reader begins to relate to and reflect upon challenges and events in his/her own life and family. Perhaps BBM is more truth than fable!!!
Date published: 2010-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Craig Russell’s debut novel, The Black Bottle Man, is fabulous in different meanings of that word. As the subtitle promises, the story pertains to a fable (the original meaning). This is a brief work, just 174 pages, that entertains and provides a moral. In the telling, the story is also fabulous as in simply great. Russell is a fine storyteller who presents a daunting conundrum for his characters. He is an excellent wordsmith whose incisive metaphors and similes conjure myth, legend and history. His detail of setting is rich, particularly prairie life as experienced by a young boy. The book unfolds two parallel and ultimately intersecting story lines through a series of flashbacks. The dominant tale focuses on Rembrandt and his involuntary travel across Canada and the United States during most of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. When Rembrandt is 10, his father strikes a bargain with the Devil who comes to their family as “the black bottle man.” In an attempt to redeem the souls of two aunts who have committed a terrible sin, the souls of Rembrandt’s father, uncle and Rembrandt himself are wagered. The terms are tough. The trio must find a champion who can defeat the Devil and, complicating their quest, the they cannot stay in any one place for more than 12 days. A momentous and especially tense part of the story is Rembrandt’s experience as a young man during the Great Depression with other displaced, travelling men. He learns their hobo signs, a written communication that really was part of that historical subculture and, for him, a secret discovery. The complementary story concerns a former school teacher, Gail, who finds herself confronting demons of her own. This is about another kind of soul-taking and search for redemption. Numbers, ritual and symbols figure prominently in Gail’s reality, just as they do in Rembrandt’s. The Black Bottle Man presents us with humanity and magic. Russell tells the tale from a Christian perspective, but the themes of love, loyalty and family are universal. The publisher markets The Black Bottle Man as “teen fiction.” While Russell’s allusions to myth and history may challenge some young people, they are an invitation to further discovery. The teen fiction label should not deter other readers. This is a story that has something to say to everyone. And isn’t that the mark of any good fable?
Date published: 2010-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It!!! I fell in love with Rembrandt and was compelled to read on, to find out if he would win. My heart broke for him as I followed him along his journey. I found myself missing him once I was finished reading.
Date published: 2010-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommended This is a good read. It's a Faustian tale; the protagonist Rembrandt's two childless aunts offer their souls to Satan (the Black Bottle Man) to have their maternal desires satisfied. His Pa and his Uncle Thompson intervene and negotiate a pact with the Black Bottle Man that has them and Rembrandt (at age 10) traveling the continent in search of "a champion who could beat the Devil". What follows is a superbly written adventure fantasy narrated in part in the voice (but not the person) of Rembrandt. This literary device is very effective. It's as though the characters are speaking directly to the reader, and the reader is drawn into the life of the protagonist. The reader experiences the prairie landscape, the hobo life, the kindness and villainy of strangers. Although the book is listed as a book for young adults, this older adult found it compelling. It is not a book easily put down before finishing.
Date published: 2010-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking........ I enjoyed this book so much - I read it twice. The characters are genuine and the writer makes you care about what happens to them. It is a good versus evil mystery that will keep you turning pages well into the night!!
Date published: 2010-07-06

Editorial Reviews

"One part travel narrative, one part spiritual fable, one part historical fiction, and one part adventure story - this tragic tale pulls readers in with its strong voice, richly depicted setting, and chilling confrontations with a shape-shifting Satan. Russell weaves magic into the narrative." - CM Magazine"Russell has told his fable. . . and it is done beautifully." - Resource Links"A truly unique story. The author tackles his fable with imagination and great turns of phrase." - Jury comments, Manitoba Book Awards