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The Kerracher Man (Non-Fiction) [Paperback]

Eric MacLeod
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 30 July 2007 --  

Book Description

30 July 2007 Non-Fiction
Eric Macleod looks across the loch at the forlorn wreck of his family s croft. How would you like to live there? he asks his wife Ruth, half joking. After all, they have to think of something to do with the place. But he doesn t expect her instant reply I would love to. A few short months later, fired by the challenge of an adventure like no other they ve known, Eric has given up a promising career in London as an accountant with an international company, and moved to the remote shores of Loch Cairnbawn in the West Highlands. With Ruth and their two little girls, he plans to renovate the croft and make a living from the land, but it s a long leap from management accountant to house builder and crofter as they soon find out. In their seventeen years at Kerracher, they experience the beauty and terror of living in the last wilderness in Scotland. They can reach the croft only by boat, across the loch, or by walking a mile and a half over the hill from the road.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press; 1st Edition edition (30 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905207158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905207152
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This gentle narrative exists in another time, another place, another world. To most readers it may as well be another planet. Few of us can imagine living without a lavatory, without a secure roof over our heads, without vehicular access to our home indeed most people would now think such privation to be incompatible with civilization. Far less can we imagine raising a young family in such conditions while somehow managing to scrape a living from the sea and a desolate landscape. Yet this is what Eric and Ruth MacLeod chose to do in 1976; to abandon their comfortable home and jobs for Eric s remote grandparental croft on the wild seaboard of the North West Highlands. There was no clear plan, no exit strategy, no safety net of any kind, just a ruined cottage and the irresistible draw of wildness and solitude gift-wrapped in the almost palpable sense of belonging crofting folk possess for their ancestral land. And there was adventure aplenty. In clear, uncluttered writing this is a tale of honest, back-breaking toil in one of the most challenging mountain seascapes of the Highlands; of naivety and disappointment, of storm, disaster and of triumph, yet throughout all of this shines an uplifting and vividly refreshing portrait of personal resourcefulness, unfailing optimism and generosity of spirit. --John Lister-Kaye, author of Song of the Rolling Earth

About the Author

Eric MacLeod was born in Dingwall in the Highlands. His early post graduate career was in Accountancy in London, but he made a life change at the age of thirty to become a crofter and self-employed in a variety of ways. Since leaving the croft he has worked as a Business Adviser across the Highlands. He is also currently running his own business in horse feed supplements. He has returned to the area of his birth with his wife Ruth of 37 years and has two daughters and three grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kerracher Man. 4 July 2013
By KLB Kid
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a true story about the life of a family who settled in what must be one of the most remote aeras of Sutherland In North West Scotland.
Not only is it a remote area it is also a very scenic area, surrounded by some of the most beautiful Highland scenery to be found including nearby " Eas A' Chual Aluinn", Gaelic for (Waterfall of the beautiful tresses) which is the highest waterfall in Britain.
It appears that the author is a family decendent of Kerracher and starts by trying to make a new life for himself and his family, quite a hard task to undertake in such a remote area,but as the story goes on you will see it all becomes worthwhile in the long run.
From the begining the trials of getting a caravan, which is to be their initial home, over to Kerracher, to the refurbishment of the house, the long walks over the hill to get to the main road and their vehicle in order to get provisions and in time to get their children to and from school shows just how hard it can be in such a remote area.
However just think of the peace in such an area, well that is until the Highland midge decides to come out to play, when millions of the little blighters attack you on a warm damp evening when there is little or no wind.
As the summer draws to a close there will be the ever noisy sound of the red deer throughout the annual rutting season. Try going to sleep with that racket going on??? Now that is what I would call a good life.
The winter time can be a bit of a challenge with the long dark nights that begin about 3.30pm and finish around 9.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for those cosy winter nights in!! 1 Nov 2008
By Lisa
Everything to make a good read - Adventure, humour, mystery, tragedy, history, geography, nature; it's all there. Once started you want to find out more, laugh with them, celebrate with them, dispair with them, be amazed at the visual imagery created. Once finished you'll want to dip back into different chapters to reread your favourites. Well worth the price. Look forward to the next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the kerracher man 9 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book , but felt it lacked substance. I think more about the wife and children and how they coped, it was a little bit like the Waltons. good book for younger readers.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable 7 Oct 2008
Loved this book. Once I started I kept reading until I finished. Great story of an 'ordinary' family which chose to face enormous challenges by moving back to their family home in a remote part of Scotland. Even the cover picture conjures up all sort of images - a caravan on a home-made barge! What risks the family took! Read about them for yourself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not riveting 14 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A nice overview of the trials and tribulations of giving up a 'normal' life for living in the wilds of Scotland. I was impressed by the author's tenacity and motivation, especially when times were tough. However, for me it was definitely not a page turner! I think this was to do with the writing style more than anything else - there was little flow, and the chapters seemed disjointed. Agreeing with the other reviewers on here, the writing also lacked depth and feeling, "I did this... then that happened". I'll definitely read it though to the end though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The location is the star of the book 7 Mar 2012
This is a pleasant, undemanding read which I would recommend. Its the story of how Eric MacLeod gave up his job/career in 1976 to occupy a remote, run-down croft in the West Highlands. This was no "Good Life" escape however, the croft had been in his family for some time and his family connections to the land undoubtedly helped him as he struggled to get established, and to find ways of earning a living. The book is in no way a "how to survive" guide, and I didn't emerge from it with any great insights into the author, or his family. Indeed, I ended up slightly puzzled by the very abrupt end to their life in Kerracher after some of their livestock was killed.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book was his descriptions of the local area, people, wildlife etc. His love of the place shines out clearly in those parts of the book and makes it more enjoyable.
So, all-in-all I'd recommend the book as a pleasant way of passing a few hours - it will no doubt also supply some motivation to visit the area, which can only be a good thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but lacked more personal imput 27 Aug 2010
By aries
I enjoyed this book, but felt that it was a bit 'shallow'. I think the author could have told us more about his family, perhaps more indepth and made the book much more interesting. There was a lot of description about the area and this made it more realistic and I could imagine the house and surrounding areas. At times it was funny and made reading enjoyable.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read almost as if you were there 2 Aug 2009
What a wonderful book it conjured up so many images for me.
My grandparents lived at Rheantraid and my mother was born there. I have visited it and it is as remote as the book suggests!!
I had heard so many stories this book brought them all to life for me. An amazing read!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good description of life in NW Scotland
If you know the area, worth a read.
Published 10 days ago by Malcolm Maciver
4.0 out of 5 stars Kerracher man
I give the book 4 stars because of a love of that landscape the book is set in. Having been to kylescu I can only imagine the hardships involved in family and life in that oh so... Read more
Published 2 months ago by G Sherwood
4.0 out of 5 stars The kerracher man
I enjoyed this book. The book is about a family,(with 2 young children), who decide to move to the family croft on the edge of a loch. Read more
Published 3 months ago by alison greenway
5.0 out of 5 stars The Kerracher Man
I bought this book as a gift but I've had a look through it and I know it will be a brilliant read.
Published 4 months ago by bett
4.0 out of 5 stars True to life.
I have done a similar thing, for two weeks only; so I could relate to this, and found the story interesting and informative.Maggie
Published 4 months ago by Maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great read about life off grid, written quite a few years back but worth reading especially if you like the west coast of Scotland.
Published 6 months ago by mrruss
5.0 out of 5 stars An escape from the rat race.
A lovely book to escape from the everyday humdrum of daily life. Not the life for me as I would imagine there were a lot of extremely hard times endured that haven't been wrote... Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Bond
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly, but not quite.
Whilst this book undoubtedly has an interesting tale to tell, it unfortunately falls short in the telling. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Wee Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, interesting read
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about the trials and tribulations of living on a remote island trying to sustain oneself and family.
Published 7 months ago by Rhiannon
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual read
Have read lots of books about people who start a new life elsewhere but this was more honest and down to earth; I liked it.
Published 8 months ago by liz howitt
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