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Off in a Boat

Off in a Boat [Kindle Edition]

Neil Gunn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Exhilarating... Gunn's joy is infectious. -- Euan Cameron The Independant Scotland's greatest novelist of the century. The Book Reader The most important Scottish novelist of the 20th century. -- Trevor Royale, editor of The MacMillan Companion to Scottish Literature

Product Description

In 1937, the Scottish writer, Neil Gunn, gave up his job in the civil service, sold his house in Inverness, and bought a boat. With his wife and his brother John, he set off on a three-month voyage around Inner Hebrides.
The boat had outlived its first youth, and its engine was somewhat cranky; she went tolerably under sail. These are not high recommendations, but for Gunn, and at times his fellow voyagers, the vessel was an argosy of freedom, of adventure and misadventure–for they were fairly inexperienced sailors, and the waters of the region are by no means placid.
Gunn was a Scots nationalist in a sense that goes far beyond the political, even though he thought that an independent Scotland was the only proper basis for a reasonable civilization. He was by nature poetic, uplifted or cast down by changing skies, seascapes, and shores. His descriptions of those things, including their moods, are remarkably evocative. And he is also a passionate historian of his country, exalting its possibilities, anathematizing its shortcomings. The book is illustrated with Daisy Gunn's photographs taken on the voyage, which are palpably amateur but wonderfully telling.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 740 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Publisher: New Amsterdam Books (23 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FF9Q212
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #297,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle but compelling read 25 Nov 2003
By Arrem
Neil Gunn had an enchanting writing style which I find impossible to describe accurately: seemingly wide-eyed and innocent, but actually discerning and well informed. His books tend to be beautifully crafted, and Off in a Boat is no exception. It's a travel book, but also a history book. It's about the sea, and Scotland, and Scots mythology. It's a delightful picture of a marriage. And since it describes life on the Inner Hebridean Islands almost 70 years ago, before these islands (e.g. Skye, Mull, Iona) were on standard tourist routes, the book has become a historical document. It's one I know I shall have to read again and again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Limited Appeal 30 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gunn is a great writer but the narrative here is not that picturesque, The main interest is in the changes in West Coast sailing in 70 years. Prefer his novels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its like you are there 28 July 2011
By Wandering Traveler - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't let the date of the book fool you. Even if this voyage took place many decades ago, it still is a solid piece of historical writing. It is a journal of a place and a diary of a culture, from a single perspective and through a narrow window, but the richness of detail and the depth of topic would not have it any other way. It is an excellent travel guide, of sorts - no, it won't tell you the latest places to go, and much of the information may be out of date with respect to specific names of people and shops, but some of it won't be out of date in that respect either. What makes it a great travel guide is that you read it for the perspective of culture, distance, clime, and place. You absorb those things, and you will have gotten something that the typical "40 things to see and do" or "Top 10 spots" or "The short-attention span guide" won't give you. You need to still buy your OS Landranger map and get your "40 walks" guide. No doubt. Get the most recent one of those, and keep those updated. But this book - you won't need to update it. You will want to cherish it. But read it for the right reason. To absorb the culture, not as a tourist spot book. But I tell you what - you'll be a better tourist for it. And you'll savor the trip in layers of experience the typical travel guide just can't give. Its a keeper.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Off in a Boat: Hebridean Voage. 5 April 2013
By Kathryn Ramey - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this because I would have liked to have been on that boat to take that voyage through the Hebrides.What can I say, as long as it has to do with Scotland, I am for it. Kathryn Punton
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