Customer Reviews


22 Reviews
5 star:
 (15)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented, but it's a shame Ring got abridged.
I'll write just a few words, not a full review. As an admirer of Maxwell's autobiographical works, I'm obviously biased; yet this compilation of the three Camusfeàrna books is a real treat. The whole story is here, with some beautiful photographs that you probably have not seen before, making it a convenient and interesting book even if you already own the...
Published on 27 Jun 2000

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting man
This book was recommended to me as a good read before a trip to Skye. Although it's not set on Skye, it is set just over the water in Sandaig, and the Ring of Bright Water Visitor Centre is just over the bridge from Skye, with Eilean Ban, the island that was Gavin Maxwell's last home, being a support for the bridge itself. I knew nothing about Maxwell himself, and...
Published on 29 Sep 2009 by Nicola


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented, but it's a shame Ring got abridged., 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I'll write just a few words, not a full review. As an admirer of Maxwell's autobiographical works, I'm obviously biased; yet this compilation of the three Camusfeàrna books is a real treat. The whole story is here, with some beautiful photographs that you probably have not seen before, making it a convenient and interesting book even if you already own the individual titles. The foreword by Jimmy Watt is the only example of his writing that I've had the chance to read, and constitutes a small but significant part of the new book's appeal. There's also an afterword by Virginia McKenna, though for a true follow-up to the saga I would suggest Frere's 'Maxwell's Ghost' and Lister-Kaye's 'The White Island' and 'The Seeing Eye', since the adventures set into motion by Maxwell really do continue throughout all three books. The only real criticism I would level at this book is that, while Rocks and Raven were obviously abridged, Ring itself has also received something of a hatchet job in places. A comparison with the original Longmans Green edition reveals the sad truth. While the editor himself laments the necessity of this state of affairs, I would have felt a little better about it had he included a short appendix listing the passages that had been cut. An example of an edit that actually changes the character of Maxwell's account is the part where he points out the irony of the fact that, with his backpack and provisions, he was arriving at Camusfeàrna like one of the hikers he had previously disdained. This has been altered so that now he is simply arriving 'at my new home' - saving so few words that one might almost wonder whether this was the only reason for the change. Nevertheless, the story itself remains intact for the first-time reader, even if that reader might not learn as much about Maxwell's history and opinions in the process. Hence I've awarded it only 4 stars out of 5. In summary, buy this book. If you really want to know what Maxwell had to say, then you'll have more than one of his books anyway; but if you have only one, it might as well be this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Myth, 3 Jan 2008
By 
G. Richardson (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
It seems a long time ago that I first read Gavin Maxwell's trilogy of books relating the development and eventually the destruction of his idyllic existence on the West Coast of the Scottish Highlands.
Despite the fact that I was just a teenager coping with all the excitements and problems that period of life engenders, Gavin Maxwell's descriptions of life in a simple house located on the sea shore of a remote bay made such an impression on my eager young intellect, an impression that has never been subdued or diminished by time or cynicism.
Maxwell was not, in my humble opinion, a great author but his books "Ring of Bright Water" and the subsequent "The Rocks Remain" and "Raven Seek Thy Brother" remain classics of the Twentieth Century.
This trilogy of books has, by necessity, been edited down somewhat to facilitate them being published as a single book and in my mind this does detract from the originals.
This compilation emphasises the nurturing wild otters as pets yet allowing them to live, as near as possible, an existence which at least had similarities to life in the wild. To me the original trilogy was as much about conceiving and attempting to build a dream as the rearing and welfare of adopted wild otters which had been orphaned by man's pointless lust for blood.
I am just one of the many whom, after reading Maxwell's books, had a deep yearning to travel northwards and to discover that storm-blasted, shell sand bay wherein his primitive house, Camusfearna, stood. I have never been to the exact location but I am pleased that I did not become one of the "disciples" that innocently yet selfishly caused more harm to that environment than they could have foreseen.
Apart from describing the sheer joy of living in what at times was almost "Heaven on Earth", The "Ring of Bright Water" Trilogy does contain the elements of melancholia, disappointment and depression caused by the realisation that Camusfearna was (in Maxwell's own words) a myth, an unobtainable illusion. Gavin Maxwell spent a great deal of his life living with the Marsh Arabs in Iraq and it is ironic that an old Arabic proverb sums up his life and dreams so well - "Beware of that which you desire for you shall surely receive it".
Yet despite this, Maxwell's accounts of life on a desolate yet beautiful stretch of Scottish coastline still fill my mind with wonder; I still want to be there, all of the time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wistful, windswept and interesting, 30 Oct 2009
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
If I had a tenth of the penmanship that Maxwell posessed I would be one happy bunny. I read all of Maxwell's books many years ago but still clearly remember large tracts from then, I re-read them recently and still remain spellbound at the quality of his writing and descriptions. The elegant turns of phrase made me think he could possibly have made a very good speech writer and I find it hard believe that he found writing a necessary chore.

My family live in the Outer Hebrides and my love of Scotland is total but Maxwell conveys so much more than just the beauty of the land, he has poured the spirit and soul of it into the pages. It makes you want to go there and stay there.

His life was tragic and his personal life was questionable that is certain but nothing can take away the sheer brilliance of his writing. A man who did not seek recognition and was open minded enough to discount nothing, even curses and supernatural occurances are treated head on. His love of nature and wildlife is apparant but never whimsical - he never attempts any twee humanising of his animals - he simply observes animal behaviour and writes about it.

If I were ever on a desert island it would be a Scottish one with all of Gavin Maxwell's books. Was he ever interviewed over the years on camera? If so do any of these recordings still exist?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting man, 29 Sep 2009
By 
Nicola "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
This book was recommended to me as a good read before a trip to Skye. Although it's not set on Skye, it is set just over the water in Sandaig, and the Ring of Bright Water Visitor Centre is just over the bridge from Skye, with Eilean Ban, the island that was Gavin Maxwell's last home, being a support for the bridge itself. I knew nothing about Maxwell himself, and thought I would lose nothing by reading an abridged version of his first book, The Ring of Bright Water, but actually I could tell there were bits missing. Nevertheless, this is an excellent introduction to Maxwell's life and work.

These books are primarily about Maxwell's move to Sandaig, a place he called Camusfearna in the books, a remote place in western Scotland. There he decides to have tame otters as pets, although he finds out that otters are never that tame! His stories of life with the otters are wonderful, but unfortunately more than one came to a sticky end.

As somebody who prefers much more contemporary books, this was slightly hard work for me to read but I also found these books to be fascinating reads. I enjoy visiting western Scotland and found the descriptions of the area very interesting. More than one person has described Maxwell to me as enigmatic and I think that is an accurate description. He seemed to have a wide scope of interest and expertise and a number of personal issues which I suppose contributed to his seeming enigmatic.

A stimulating book, which requires some concentration, but is worth the effort.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, 18 July 2000
I am a Gavin Maxwell enthusiast who had to resort to tracking down his books via out of print searches in order to find them. The book is beautifully presented and Maxwell's work is sublime. It is truly a necessity that these books should be again available for general readership. I cannot suggest a similar author. But anyone with any true love for our country's species, and for that matter any animal, could not fail to respond to this book. It also seems to arise at a time when interest in Maxwell is increasing. As a bookseller myself, I know this is a true classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ring of bright water, 17 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. E. Bray (North-west United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you like your wildlife, this is a must-read. Gavin puts you in the middle of nowhere, in the wilds of Scotland, and you can almost feel yourself struggling to keep everything going, even though nature is doing it's best to prevent you.
The second and third parts of the collection are more about the struggle, than the animals, but is sufficiently enthralling to keep you reading right up to the last word on the back page.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ring of Bright Water, 27 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
Great book have read this before but after a visit to Gavin Maxwell's home at Skye in Scotland just had to read this again its a trilogy so really good to follow up on his life
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 15 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
I loved rereading this book after not having read it for many years. Now my sons are also reading it and they also love it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ring Of Bright Water Trilogy, 2 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
I was 8 years old when I first saw the movie - dare I say it changed my life like many others. I have now got the movie and the book - I am in heaven. Great for not only kids but adults as well. A rainy day must!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Ring of Bright Water Trilogy: Ring of Bright Water, The Rocks Remain, Raven Seek Thy Brother (Paperback)
A lovely book, beautifully written. For anyone interested in Scotland, animals, remote living or a simple human story, then this is for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews