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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different
if you've reached the point of near boredom with the thousands of macho books of near death, tragedy and successful climbs which are typical of biographies and novels of the mountains, then you will find this a breath a fresh air.
Nan's use of language is poetic and beautifully visual and completely different from anything you will usually read about living and...
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by Emily

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'To be with the mountain as one visits a friend'
I read a raptuous review of this somewhere. The edition I bought from Amazon was Aberdeen University Press 1977, reprinted 1984. I hope the more recent editions look less like a school reader for nature study classes. The writing is intense, based on even more intense observations. In a passage on walking in the snow a gamekeeper's advice is quoted - 'in a blizzard don't...
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Alan Tucker


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different, 7 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Living Mountain (Paperback)
if you've reached the point of near boredom with the thousands of macho books of near death, tragedy and successful climbs which are typical of biographies and novels of the mountains, then you will find this a breath a fresh air.
Nan's use of language is poetic and beautifully visual and completely different from anything you will usually read about living and enjoying the mountains.

This is a must read for anyone who loves the Cairngorms, Scotland, or mountains in general. But if you simply have a love of beautiful language then you will find this a perfect introduction to the wilderness.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal, Spiritual and Beautifully Written, 17 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Living Mountain (Paperback)
For those who love the mountains for the emotional, spiritual and inspirational nourishment that they provide, then this book expresses it all in a very personal relationship with the mountains written in both poetic and philosophical prose. Beautifully written avoiding all the usual action, disaster and/or heroics associated with mountain stories.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 20 May 2010
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Stewart M (Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Living Mountain (Paperback)
The Living Mountain is Nan Shepherd's love song to The Cairngorms. Many (probably most) books about mountains are written to show man (and it normally is men) on or against mountains. This book is different. This book places the author with the mountains.

This is an intimate and detailed study of the Cairngorms that focuses far more on rivers and light, the freezing of streams and the disorientation of mist, than it does does peaks or particular journeys. In this way the book seems directionless, but only if direction is defined in a geographical fashion. If the direction of travel relates to a journey of understanding then the book is not directionless at all, and charts the authors growing knowledge of the mountains.

If you are looking for a book full of daring deeds and heroic ascents, then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a thoughtful account of how people build an emotional connection to a place and how individual aspects of that place can combine to form wonder, then you should read this book.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetry in prose, 14 Oct 2008
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Woodpecker "Lam" (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
This book is the most incredibly beautiful evocation of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. It is like reading poetry. I was living in Aberdeen in the seventies when it was published, and read it then, and like the author I walked and camped for days on my own in the Cairngorms and came to love their special qualities of light and space, spareness and harsh wild beauty. I met the author once, and was struck by her blue eyes full of the distance. She spoke so lovingly of the hills, and so descriptively. What a pity this wonderful book is no longer in print. It deserves to be. I read an article by Robert Macfarlane about it in a newspaper recently. He has discovered it, and I so wish many more people could do so too. We need wildness for our souls.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toiling zenwards in the Cairngorms, 27 Mar 2012
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technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) (Paperback)
Nan Shepherd achieves in the Living Mountain,an irradiation of the `common' into the `universal'.She is a friend of the mountains and visits them like a friend.She sees the mountain tops as eddies on the plateau surface.This is a pilgrimage of mountain worship. As a'see-er' her empiricism is mystical.Her mineral self gains entry into interior recesses,cavities,hollows,chasms.She sees the earth as the earth must see itself:this is pure intellectual knowledge springing from the senses and the surprise of finding out from long acquaintance,the body itself thinks, knowledge is felt.Our bodies' motor-functions make us precognitively aware of the world,our subjectivity is embedded in the flesh of the world.'Place and mind interpenetrate until the nature of both are altered'.Our contact with nature has become enervated from this being in the world.Her book is a hymn to `living all the way through':to touching,smelling,tasting,and hearing the world.`Matter is impregnated with mind',and the world exists in a continuous `active mood...the grammar of now'.Her phenomenological attention and awareness `widen the domain of being in the vastness of non-being'.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.This book is a primer for the senses and the reading of the written word,bathed in a crystal glow of the elements,saturated with Being.Her descriptions of running water,its sounds and colour,coldness and power,are superb;her beautiful depiction of frost,ice and snow,the forms they all take,the effects of wind,cloud ,sun,light and water on,with blizzards,snow-blindness and storms;the effects of air,rain and light on the mountains,the effects of haze and mist are truly wondrous;her descriptions of the rock of the granite boss being `red',its feldspar `pink',crags,boulders and scree are `weathered to a cold grey',but the rock where newly slashed or under water is red.When her book opens up to plants,animals and birds,we truly see the aspects of the one entity,the living mountain,"love pursued with fervour is one of the roads of knowledge",reminding you of MacDarmiad's poetry or Matthiessen's Snow Leopard.There is a map of the Cairngorms plateau and a helpful glossary of Scottish words.This book can be got for as little as £3 if you do without Macfarlane's introduction.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect and magical, 15 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) (Paperback)
This is quite simply a perfect piece of literature. It is compelling, magical, mesmerising, and an absolute pleasure to read. Read this because you love nature, or the moutains, or read it simply because it is a brilliant piece of writing. If I had to get rid of most of my books and could only keep a handful, this book would be in that handful - because it is also a text to return to time and again.

Once again finding a book by chance in a good bookshop has proven the way to find unexpected gems
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic worthy of the name..., 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) (Paperback)
If mountain literature were ever to have such a thing as a sacred text, then 'The Living Mountain' would surely be a candidate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Living Mountain (Paperback)
the finest work about hills and nature that i have read. this slim volume is essential reading for all who venture into, and wish to be part of, nature and landscape. anyone who reads this will look differently at their surroundings on their next trip into mountain, plateau, glen or the wilderness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and evocative, 31 Dec 2012
By 
A. Burt "adie-b" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) (Paperback)
Nan Shepherd's little book captures the essence of mountains and their lure for those of us who love them in a way I have never experienced in any other book. She is not interested in conquering mountains, but rather in knowing them intimately. She has an incriedible eye for detail, and many times I found myself thinking that she had found the perfect expression for my own mountain experiences. My only criticism is of the introduction. The contextual background to Nan's life is useful, but the exposition of the text is unnecessary as it speaks so eloquently for itself.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindful journey into the wild, 24 Jan 2012
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A. Hughes - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) (Paperback)
I should quickly thank Jeanette Winterston for bring this book to my attention on Radio 4, but my praise is really meant for Nan Sheperd and the time she spent craft & detailing this sensual journey into a wilderness.
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