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Hebridean Sharker

Hebridean Sharker [Kindle Edition]

Tex Geddes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

In 'Hebridean Sharker' Tex Geddes describes his exploits during the 1950s as a hunter of basking sharks in the waters of the Minch, between the Inner and Outer Hebrides. Using an adapted whaling harpoon, he and his crew stalked these huge fish often in perilous conditions, the liver of which is a valuable source of oil. Always a maverick, before World War Two Geddes had been a boxer and a rumrunner to Newfoundland. During the war he established a reputation as an expert knife-thrower and bayonet fencer and served in the Special Forces with Gavin Maxwell (author of Ring of Bright Water). He combined the hazardous pursuit of sharks with crewing the local lifeboat, ring-net fishing, lobstering, deer-stalking and salmon poaching. He went on to purchase the tiny island of Soay, where he lived with his wife Jeanne, continued to hunt sharks and became the Laird. His story is full of adventures and fantastic descriptions of a seagoing life in the islands. It has become a Hebridean classic.

About the Author

Joseph 'Tex' Geddes was born in 1919 in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and is believed to have been brought up in Canada. Expelled from school at the age of 12, he tried his hand at various jobs, including as a boxer, a lumberjack and a rum-smuggler. During World War Two he served with the Seaforth Highlanders and the Special Forces, and after the war became a shark fi sherman. With his wife he bought the Hebridean island of Soay and lived there for 30 years. He died in the Isle of Skye in 1998 and is survived by one son, Duncan Geddes.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 752 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn (13 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CP5BOG2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,739 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long-overdue reprint 12 April 2012
Birlinn deserve credit for republishing a growing number of out-of-print Scottish books, and this title has been on many peoples 'wants' lists for decades. Although sometimes described as a 'classic', copies of the original edition have long been too scarce and expensive for the book to become as well-known as it should be. It has been sought-after by buyers in several different markets - including shark enthusiasts, lovers of islands and the west coast of Scotland, and Gavin Maxwell fans - driving the price for secondhand copies in decent condition up to as much as £300 or even more. Now, thanks to Birlinn, the book is available and affordable at last, the cover of the paperback reprint even reproducing the eye-catching artwork from the original 1960 dust-jacket.
Many readers will buy this book because of the connection with Gavin Maxwell, but Geddes' own life story and his account of a long-past industry is interesting enough for the book to find a readership on its own merits.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing back memories! 5 April 2012
I had the honour of reading this book twenty five years ago and am delighted to see it back in print. I was given a copy to read by Tex Geddes himself while holidaying on the island of Soay, where he and his wife, Jeanne and all their family were most welcoming to me and my three children. I had the privilege to read Hebridean Sharker in the place it was set. Tex was a wonderful writer and his book transports the reader to the dangers and rigours of life at the time the book was set. As a man he had a wealth of experience and fabulous memories, some of which he shared with me over a few evenings and a dram or two! His writing is real and descriptive and I would recommend it to readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hebridean sharker 5 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book a long time ago (borrowed from my public library) and waited for the reprint ever since. Like others I found the secondhand price prohibitive. I love the story of lives lived in a harsh environment, in a different era and to completely different rules (killing Basking Sharks for a living? Heaven forbid). What comes across is the courage and determination of individuals to continue their lives in an uncompromising environment a million miles away from our comfy modern values and metrocentric living. Geddes is a story teller and recorder of post war efforts of economic and social continuity in the communities of the west coast of Scotland. His personal answer to the pre-war depopulation of the isles was to populate one with his family - a precursor to the modern fad for 'the simple life'? Far from it. Read alongside Gavin Maxwells' work Geddes injects a vein of realism into the punishing business of shark hunting and existing at a time when it still seemed possible that a man could live the life of his choice. I commend this book to armchair adventurers, nostalgics, lovers of Western Scotland and anyone who really wants to escape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCITING 15 Aug 2013
By Lemon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an old "Whaler" myself I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I see the basking shark every day when I am out fishing swimming with their mouths wide open when looking for food. They are extremely friendly. I would recommend this book.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Super, evocative memoir of life in the post war Inner Hebrides with the fantastic hook of shark fishing. I had no idea they did that so recently! Brutal at times but Tex Geddes is a truly great Highland Character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystic connection 5 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
My mum used to live on the island of soay in the early 90s and tex was always around oozing charisma. I got my copy from mystic seaport whaling museum in Connecticut USA by Mail Order In mint condition that was way back in the days before widespread Internet usage. The old whaling station is still there on soay - a very evocative place. Every thing in the book is most likely true. Grab yourself a copy and seep back to long gone days....
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