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At the Loch of the Green Corrie [Hardcover]

Andrew Greig
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2010

I should like you to fish for me at the Loch of the Green Corrie,' MacCaig commanded months before his death. 'Go to Lochinver and ask for a man named Norman MacAskill - if he likes you he may tell you where it is. If you catch a fish, I shall be delighted. If you fail, then looking down from a place in which I do not believe, I shall be most amused.' The quest sounds simple and irresistible, but the loch is as demanding as it is beautiful. In the course of days of outdoor living, meetings, and fishing with friends in the remote hill lochs of far North-West Scotland, the search broadens. The waters of the Green Corrie finally reflect personal memoir, joy and loss, poetry, geology, land ownership in the Highlands, the ambiguous roles of whisky, love and friendship. At the Loch of the Green Corrie is a richly atmospheric narrative, a celebration of losing and recovering oneself in a unique landscape, the consideration of a particular culture, and a homage to a remarkable poet and his world.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; 1st ed edition (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847249965
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847249968
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'You could easily make a case that Andrew Greig has the greatest range of any living Scottish writer' Scotsman.

'Moving and richly written about life's great adventures' Greenock Telegraph.

'It is in part because he looks for a place where they do things differently that Greig is drawn to Assynt and some of the best of this fine book is taken up with attempts to face down his tendency to reify glimpses of the ideal... It's Greig's habit to set literature aside in favour of life but the rich contradictions involved in doing so require him to exercise all his considerable art' Guardian.

'This book is his most personal to date. He writes with fragile honesty about his mistakes, his relationships and about the breakdown he had as a young man... There are interludes of joyous anecdote such as the account of his time as a wannabe singer/songwriter in the 1970s' Scotsman.

'At The Loch of Green Corrie is more than merely elegant, more than a collection of albeit fascinating insights, laugh-out-loud observations and impressively broad erudition. Greig manages to give his holiday journal a definite narrative tension' Sunday Herald.

From the Inside Flap

"'I should like you to fish for me at the Loch of the Green Corrie,' MacCaig commanded months before his death. 'Go to Lochinver and ask for a man named Norman MacAskill - if he likes you, he may tell you where it is. If you catch a fish, I shall be delighted. If you fail, then looking down from a place in which I do not believe, I shall be most amused.'" The quest sounds simple and irresistible, but the loch is hard to find, as demanding as it is beautiful. In the course of days of outdoor living, meetings, and fishing with friends in the remote hill lochs of far North-West Scotland, the search broadens. The waters of the Green Corrie finally reflect personal memoir, joy and loss, poetry, geology, land ownership in the Highlands, the ambiguous roles of whisky, love and male friendship. At the Loch of the Green Corries is a richly atmospheric narrative, a celebration of losing and recovering oneself in a unique landscape, the consideration of a particular culture, and a homage to a remarkable poet and his world.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement 18 April 2010
By doublegone TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The last time writer Andrew Greig visited elderly Scottish poet Norman MacCaig before his death, he asked where his favorite place in the world was. MacCaig, who divided his life between Edinburgh and Assynt in the far north-west replied that it was a remote hill loch. It had been many years since Norman had been fit enough to visit the spot, and he asked Andrew Greig to go for him and catch a wild brown trout. The resulting expedition Greig made with two friends in pursuit of the loch and its trout is the central excuse for this book, but the story is draped in musings and recollections of friends and friendships lost, love, work, art, breakdowns, family, politics and history. It goes beyond being simply a good book to being something that might be described as an achievement.

Greig catptures a certain part of the Scottish psyche - torn just like MacCaig's life between urban and urbane Edinburgh - home of the enlightenment; and the Highlands imbued with the sad romance of the Gael.

I was drawn to this book as an angler in love with Assynt myself, but you needn't fish to enjoy it. Greig himself is no great angler and this is not a book about fishing. Its a book about life, told through the course of a trip to find a secret loch.

Wonderful. The sort of book that when you pass the halfway point makes you begin grieving for the thought of it finishing.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the Loch of the Green Corrie 10 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
This exceptional book has been my companion over the past few days on a very peaceful break on the shores of Loch Tay. It is a very personal account of Andrew's relationship with the poems and life of Norman MacCaig, with his friends and family and with himself.

The author's evocative description of Assynt and its significance to Norman as a source of masterful poetry made me want to go to the Green Corrie myself with my copy of The Poems of Norman MacCaig and a hip flask of his favourite Glenmorangie to raise a glass to one of Scotland's greatest poets and, in Andrew Greig, now one of my favourite prose writers.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armchair Fishing 16 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
I've read everything Andrew Greig has written. I started with the novel "When they lay bare" as I was on holiday in the Scottish Borders and wanted a book to fit. I loved it and sought out his other books. Each one different, each one great. I've Macnabbed, lived through the second world war, golfed around Scotland, armchair climbed in the Himalyayas with Mal Duff and now I have armchair fished in Assynt. I thought this would be the one I couldn't get into. Flyfishing???? A cast too far? But I loved this book too, even the fishing bits but it's so much more. The geology, the poetry, the stories, the personal reflections. He's a Polymath but not a geek. He wears it lightly but there is clear depth. Already recommending it enthusiastically to friends - a bit hard to do "well it's fly fishing & poetry with some geology and reflective stuff" perhaps not a great way to promote it but go get it, savour it; a book giving a link with the past to the old poets of the 30's 40's 50's 60's but bang up to date and modern. Roll on next book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norman MacCaig would smile. 15 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I discovered MacCaig's unique genius some time ago and through him found Andrew Grieg. At the Loch of the Green Corrie is a beatifully constructed book. The main theme is a journey to fulfil a promise to MacCaig, but Grieg adds to it with memories of his life - not self indulgent, but relevant to Scotland, MacCaig and life in general. His prose are very much like free verse, that so beloved by MacCaig, and at times have a rhythm which resonates very deep within. I have climbed mountains in the Northwest Highlands for years and have read many books on the Moine Thrust, Assynt and it's history, but for the first time everything is in this one book. Accurate views on the Clearances and Culloden and the relevance of Hutton to world geology give you an idea of how extensive this writing is; but at all times Norman MacCaig accompanies the author. This is a lovely book and it makes you think - which is never a bad thing. Ultimately it is a group of friends in tents and the hero is a deceased fish. Norman MacCaig would have enjoyed the effort and the simplicity. Thank you Andrew Grieg. Promises should be kept like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to get rid off 25 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
I stumbled upon the "Loch of the Green Corrie" while browsing for books on Assynt in preparing a motorcycle tour to the north-west of Scotland. How little did I know what awaited me once I had embarked on getting into Greig's narrative. Along the flight of stairs up to the poet's apartment; into the past of Assynt summers; out and about in the great openness of the Assynt hills the attention followed Greig's writing and took with it a considerable part of my own personal reflections: is there indeed - and if so who - a person that has similarly exercised tutorship for ourselves as the poet did for Greig? What a revelation to find that there does indeed exist someone like that. And what about the three friends fishing up north? How many close associates do we have to venture out with us thus unconditionally reflective? It felt reassuring to realize that there are people indeed who would be ready to do so. And yet the doubts, the understanding and acceptance of past as bridging to future without losing trail were sometimes painful to read - but so very much to the point. As is McCaig's poetry itself: one moment we see clearly and yet we don't. That probably is the most reassuring revelation of the book itself: without great fuss, plain simple but wonderfully encoded Greig shows through the fishing bet and the inner as well as the physical voyages that memory, present and future plans are nothing but the vital substance that cares for every need - life as a single frame, whatever the language or the code we use for the moment to describe it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Greig channels MacCaig beautifully
A moving and characteristically poignant account of a loving pilgrimage, which is as much about place and character as it is about the quest. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Doc G
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read.
I received a recommendation for this book from a friend after mentioning that I had recently visited Assynt. Read more
Published 26 days ago by John R Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Read
I really enjoyed this book. A lyrical description of the Assynt area which makes me want to re-visit and an affirmation of the only way to get to truly know a place is to walk in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Del the dog
5.0 out of 5 stars Loch of Green Corrie
I do not have any interest in fishing, so was not expecting much delight from this story. What a mistake. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT book !
This is one of the most wonderful books I think I have ever read. Poetic and insightful, deeply moving and reflective. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jennifer Butler
3.0 out of 5 stars So nearly very good
This book was so nearly very good, but sadly it subsided into morbid self-obsession.

Andrew Greig has published a few novels (including "The Return of John Macnab",... Read more
Published 9 months ago by James Brydon
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Read
Bought this book for my husband who is a fisherman and reads a little. Since then he has recommended it to many friends and myself, we have all enjoyed it immensely. Read more
Published 12 months ago by ruth_e_moody@hotmail.com
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual and great recipe of...
...musings on philosophy, biography, literature, male friendship, geology, fishing. The long-reaching shadow of poet Norman McCaig prompted this wonderful read and informs it... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alan Coady
4.0 out of 5 stars Fishing for meaning
I discovered this book's existence completely by accident, when I was looking for the poem "Below the Green Corrie" by Norman MacCaig. Read more
Published 16 months ago by MazP
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape into the Highlands in this pleasant reflection on a life worth...
I enjoyed the book despite poetry not being my thing. That doesn't matter as the characters are human and the story touching.
Published 17 months ago by Ray Hill
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