With The Beginning of His Excellent and Eventful Career Cameron MacKenzie has fused historical narrative with first-person memoir and the result is a tremendously compelling (and terrifying) amalgamation— part historical novel, part soliloquy, part sadistic bandit’s bildungsroman. Pancho Villa “speaks” via MacKenzie’s deeply researched fictional memoir. MacKenzie melds myth and legend, memoir and fiction to create an astounding psychological portrait of Villa—one that reminds readers of the tremendous power of the novel as an imaginative and expressive medium...But more than that it’s also part Artaud, part Brett Easton Ellis: theater of cruelty meets American Psycho. MacKenzie gives us the ‘great man’ on his way to becoming legend, warts and all.


Marion Wrenn, co-editor, The Painted Bride Quarterly



The Beginning of His Excellent and Eventful Career captures the frenzy and ferocity of a time of great turmoil. Cameron MacKenzie expertly reworks the Mexican Revolution into a fast-paced, first-person narrative of cinematic vividness, with a cast of historical figures—most prominent among them, Francisco (Pancho) Villa—who wielded arms or influence to reshape the land. This debut novel fully engrosses the reader and is a stunning achievement by Cameron MacKenzie.


Alexander Pepple, Editor, Able Muse



From a writer’s perspective, Cameron MacKenzie has written a novel that elicits equal parts jealousy and fascination.  In this novel, MacKenzie has mastered the art of the sentence, each self-contained and threatening violence.  The Beginning of His Excellent and Eventful Career taps into the universality of the human experience and in an ethnically fluid narrative.  A truly brilliant work.


Tim Fitts, author of Hypothermia


Kirkus Review.

full review here

Rain Taxi. 

full review here

Historical Novel Society.

full review here