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25 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read
I bought this book because of the Buchan connection in the title, but then went on to read every Greig novel that I could find. The author is a poet and mountaineer, the former reflected in the beautiful prose of this book, the latter in his marvellous feel for, and portrayal of, landscape.

Without spoiling a great plot, the book is essentially about three...
Published on 8 May 2008 by Friendlycard

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp in the spirit of the Buchan original
You don't have to have read the John Buchan book which inspired this but it helps. Modernising and politicising Buchans story of a hunting, shooting, fishing dare this is a very enjoyable book, though the more peotic elements ( the author is also a poet) don't always sit well with the knockabout.
I couldn't have imagined myself enjoying a book which takes hunting...
Published on 29 April 1999


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 8 May 2008
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Friendlycard (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Return of John Macnab (Paperback)
I bought this book because of the Buchan connection in the title, but then went on to read every Greig novel that I could find. The author is a poet and mountaineer, the former reflected in the beautiful prose of this book, the latter in his marvellous feel for, and portrayal of, landscape.

Without spoiling a great plot, the book is essentially about three modern young men who set out to emulate the Highland poaching exploits of Buchan's book. Comparisons with Buchan are pointless, as this book takes place in a different era and context. But, like Buchan, Grieg has woven a beautifully-crafted tale around a clever idea. A lovely book, and a great relaxing treat.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp in the spirit of the Buchan original, 29 April 1999
By A Customer
You don't have to have read the John Buchan book which inspired this but it helps. Modernising and politicising Buchans story of a hunting, shooting, fishing dare this is a very enjoyable book, though the more peotic elements ( the author is also a poet) don't always sit well with the knockabout.
I couldn't have imagined myself enjoying a book which takes hunting and fishing as its main subject, but I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great yarn, 22 May 2013
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I have to confess I didn't read Buchan's original, but this is a well told adventure tale, with a rounded characters at the centre. The story centres around a bet that a team of would be poachers can catch a salmon, shoot a deer and shoot grouse from particular properties, and do it all without being caught. The fun of it is that the team here doing this 'for the hell of it' - just because the challenge is there . It would have been helpful if Greig had laid out the challenge that the team of poachers were facing, but that he didn't is consistent with telling the story via people who know what is happening. The evocation of the highlands is delightful, economic and spare and linked right into the action elements of the plot.

There is a warm vein of humour that runs through the whole story which never takes itself too seriously. The 'villains' of the piece ie the land owners who are trying to prevent their stock from being poached are a nice mix of self interest and atruism, and the heroes are rounded conflicted and interesting as people with a nice mix of competencies and flaws.

This is a great read well outside the standard thriller genre of today - yet it is modern and fun and you don't know until the end if they will pull it off or not. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, beautiful prose, 11 Sep 2013
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Many thanks to Heffers bookshop for thoughtfully shelving this next to John Buchan's original. I've just re-read both, a real treat as one can see how cleverly Greig updates Buchan's story. But this is a self-contained book and can read in its own right. It's something of a black comedy, woven with asute observation of personalities and Scottish character, but also with many surprising and sometimes beautiful phrases. And, it is a gripping thriller too. Strongly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written - made me yearn to return to Deeside!, 11 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Return of John Macnab (Paperback)
My husband was given the original 'John Macnab' (John Buchan) by a much-better-read-than-I friend - who promptly went on to recommend this 'if he enjoyed the orginal'... he did, so my mum gave this book to him for Christmas, and he reckons he enjoyed this more. I kept reading it over his shoulder in bed, and when he eventually passed it over a week later (extremely fast reading by his standards - especially bearing in mind our second child was born at Chritmas!), I devoured it in two sittings - as did my mother when I lent it to her.

You can tell Greig is a poet - the descriptions of places are just beautiful and made me so nostalgic for the hills and localities of my native home (I now live in the South of England!), and as I've discovered is generally true of his writing, you really care for his characters - even the seemingly bit-part ones are sketched well enough to feel like you have a good sense of who they are and why. What is more, he really seems to know his stuff - whether it is climbing, fishing or singing!

I've subsequently given books by Andrew Greig to 3 people, and in keeping with other reviewers I'm actively having to stop myself reading his books in too quick succession - to spread out the enjoyment. His novels have reinginted an interest in poetry, which fittingly was first sparked (in my school days!) by Norman Maccaig (Greig's mentor it would seem).

I don't understand why Greig is not better known... a check in 4 local bookshops (one very large) revealed just a single copy of his latest work (which i bought) between the lot of them. Oh and Amazon - Kindle should get with it, and have more of his stuff!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping yarn, 27 Dec 2013
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an engrossing book which was hard to put down. I thought it was better than Buchan's original. A feel good read and if the plot is sometimes tongue in cheek it is beautifully written
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant comic novel, 20 Dec 2013
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C Anderson (Redhill, England) - See all my reviews
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A really delightful riff on Buchan's novel. Vivid, fast paced, with well drawn characters and powerfully descriptive writing about Highland life. A splendid entertainment for a winter's evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 19 Jun 2013
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A very enjoyable read for a wet afternoon! An interesting idea to "bring up to date" the original John Buchan, which I also greatly enjoyed all of 45 years ago!
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5.0 out of 5 stars understated genius, 3 Mar 2014
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Greig gives us real people. This story could be raucous. Instead we hear the subtle melody of genuine human fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams. Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Aug 2013
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Exciting and adventurous. Better than the original - or just contemporary? Well worth a read and convinced me to read more Andrew Greig, and the original.
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The Return of John Macnab
The Return of John Macnab by Andrew Greig (Paperback - 6 May 2002)
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