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A Time to Keep [Paperback]

George Mackay Brown
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

8 May 2006
First published in 1969, 'A Time to Keep' has a vast cast of characters drawn from Orkney's past and present. The stories offer a range of emotions and incidents, exploring how the new and old collide and crash in a community as deeply rooted as Orkney's. 'Celia' portrays a woman who is shutting out the contemporary world, losing herself in an alcohol-fuelled haze which helps her rejects the horrors of Apartheid and the Vietnam War. In 'The Wireless Set', an old couple begins to fear the implications of new technology, as they associate the loss of their son during the war with the radio he brought to them before he left. 'A Time to Keep' reflects Brown's recent conversion five years earlier to Roman Catholicism, which is both reflected in the title and in the spiritual content of the tales.

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A Time to Keep + The Crucible: A Play in Four Acts (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (8 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190459865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904598657
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

George Mackay Brown finds more diversity of subject and mood in these islands than most writers would see in a city street. He evokes nature constantly, but naturally, with ease and no pretension. His images are stark, carefully placed, and exact . . . A precise, poetic and dazzling writer --The Guardian

George Mackay Brown really does possess the magician's touch: there are few writers alive today with the courage to be so simple and direct, or with the talent - the sheer, unforced talent - to lighten up the most humdrum detail of an ordinary life and transform it into something unforgettable. --The Observer

Book Description

The second collection of stories published by George Mackay Brown, this volume includes 12 stories arising from both ancient and modern life on the island of Orkney. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orcadian Magic 30 Jan 2011
By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Anyone new to Mackay Brown's work should certainly discover plenty of magic in these wonderfully compassionate tales. Short stories though they may be, they embrace many of life's crucial aspects with a beautifully crafted subtlety. Many of the major themes are here, from love lost, won, or unrequited, lonliness, dependency, fear of the future, the clash of time and generations, all delivered with a delicately crafted prose, and a supremely compassionate and unjudgemental eye.
The Orkney setting adds its own magic, as anyone familiar with these haunting isles will know, as the past breathes on the shoulder of the present, just as a standing stone's elemental presence looms over the new shiny red tractor. There is also an elemental sparseness here, captured in the language, which reflects the stark isolation of the setting: crofts far from neighbours, isolated shelters from the harshness of the wind, weather and pulling power of the sea. The characters, from Celia onwards, are drawn with a compassionate hand, so we identify and suffer with them, and their inner isolation, and struggle for meaning, security and love. Poetic tales, captured by a master craftsman. If you enjoy this, look for A Calendar of Love (Flamingo Modern Classic) or investigate his poetry or novels.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Orcadian triumph 19 May 2013
By Bing
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was prompted to buy this volume of short pieces by the Orkney poet and writer George Mackay Brown by a brief but welcome series on BBC Radio 4, selecting three of the stories for broadcast. I was not disappointed; Mackay Brown may not have left his remote island for long, but he manages to offer a worldly view of human nature.
Most entertaining.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orcadian Magic 12 Feb 2011
By Sentinel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anyone new to Mackay Brown's work should certainly discover plenty of magic in these wonderfully compassionate tales. Short stories though they may be, they embrace many of life's crucial aspects with a beautifully crafted subtlety. Many of the major themes are here, from love lost, won, or unrequited, lonliness, dependency, fear of the future, the clash of time and generations, all delivered with a delicately crafted prose, and a supremely compassionate and unjudgemental eye.
The Orkney setting adds its own magic, as anyone familiar with these haunting isles will know, as the past breathes on the shoulder of the present, just as a standing stone's elemental presence looms over the new shiny red tractor. There is also an elemental sparseness here, captured in the language, which reflects the stark isolation of the setting: crofts far from neighbours, isolated shelters from the harshness of the wind, weather and pulling power of the sea. The characters, from Celia onwards, are drawn with a compassionate hand, so we identify and suffer with them, and their inner isolation, and struggle for meaning, security and love. Poetic tales, captured by a master craftsman. If you enjoy this, look for A Calendar of Love (Flamingo Modern Classic) or investigate his poetry or novels.
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