Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 30 December 2011
From the minute you start this book the author has nothing but negative comments about the people of Orkney .I think he only went to ridicule the Orcadians and their way of life .
I read up to half of the book in the hope that it was going to get better and the author would start writing something positive or say something nice about Orkney but was left dissapointed .

Why do people leave big cities to go and live in small islands to escape from modern city life then moan that they can't get 24hr shops,transport etc and want to change everything .

I have been to Orkney on holiday and I found the Orcadians very warm friendly people .
I think this book says more about the author than the people of Orkney.
55 comments|19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 April 2010
This could be a brilliant parody of downsizer lit produced by media types heading out to the sticks to escape themselves- the prose is clunky and there are plenty of typos (it doesn't look like it has had the benefit of an editor at all), the tone is arrogant and self aggrandising, and the narrative includes accounts of cultural plunder, getting well paid jobs that would probably have been done better by folk who knew the island better, and mocking the emotions and traditions of folk who seem to have treat the author quite well. The narrative includes accounts of the author and his partner starting off by trying to attend as many local events as possible while at the same time putting down other incomers and apparently being under the impression that this will make them part of the cultural and social life of the island. These are all classic mistakes and shortcomings of people who believe that heading for the hills will solve all their problems and that no changes in attitude on their own part will be necessary- and the lack of insight on the part of the author into his own shortcomings, arrogance and self importance would be a masterpiece of character portrayal if this were fiction.

Unfortunately, it seems likely that this is actually the self-pitying, awful prose of someone who has used the lives of others for mockery and profit. Reading it will not make your life any better or give you any insight into how to live a better life, other than taking the author's example and vowing to do the opposite at all times. I resent the 5.98p that my borrowing this book from the library will profit the author. Certainly do not waste your money buying it. I would also avoid any of the manuals produced by the author as anyone who believes this book worthy of publication cannot be trusted on any other matter.

Luckily for the island, the author and his partner only lasted 7 years, which also must be about average for such people who have decided to move out to [insert 'escape to the country rural idyll' here] for the rest of their lives. I pity wherever has to put up with this awful man now.
33 comments|38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 June 2016
I moved to Orkney and have had more or less the opposite experience, although there are inevitably culture shocks and frustrations along the way. This is neither surprising or bookworthy. The problems with this book are 1) It's not very well written - it relies on a clunky, jokey style that is disjointed. 2) It leaves a lot unresolved and unexplained - cherry picking the so called "funny" moments without giving them a fair context. 3) It over uses the same handful of characters which makes it boring. These characters and their behaviours could be found anywhere and are certainly not unique to Orkney. I do detect a grudging repspect for the place emerging as the book develops, but you have to ask what the point of the book is other than to document the author's own failure and badly judged life choices.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 April 2011
I have to take issue with this book's description. This book doesn't expose the gritty reality behind all those twee best sellers...... because guess what, yes this book IS another twee best seller. It follows the well- tried "Lilian Beckwith" formula of making gentle fun of those ( allegedly) strange people who inhabit the northerly islands of the UK.
It's a very lighthearted book, I am guessing that a lot of "poetic license" has been taken with the incidents and characters. If it wasn't for the sweary words it is the sort of book you'd expect to see serialised in the "people's Friend" magazine or something like that. Basically it's just a lot of gossipy stuff, with exaggerated characters. It didn't actually make me laugh, but it's harmless enough fun. Put it this way- if you stopped reading it halfway through ( as I almost did) you wouldn't feel you had missed anything.
22 comments|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 July 2013
I grew up in Orkney and recognise several of the people described by the author. It is toned down if anything.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 July 2010
It normally takes me a while to read a book but I've read 80% of this in one afternoon of an Orkney summer.
As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in Orkney over the last 10+ years I have to say that there is an awful lot of truth in these pages. I can recognise and identify with a lot of what has been written and anyone who can't must have their eyes closed!
But even if you have never ventured across the Pentland Firth it is an entertaining read.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 January 2011
I thought this was a harmless wee yarn. The whole tone is light-humoured and tongue in cheek.
I found it easy to read, as did my mum who (with much amusement) read it after I did.
I've lived on Orkney for 29 years, and while it's certainly the case that many a true word is said in jest... all the same, it's not the sort of book to get your knickers all bunched up over I reckon.
It's just bit of light reading, really.... a daft wee yarn.
It was quite amusing to read, really.
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 October 2009
This book is a must for all people with a good sense of humour as it is very facetious, funny, witty and quite corrosive at times.
The author hits a very true note about the everyday life in a small Island, and it shows with great accuracy what one can expect when downshifting.
I enjoyed it so much that I ordered copies for friends who like to have a good laugh.
Well done, Max.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 March 2010
I enjoyed very much holidaying in Orkney last (northern) summer, and after seeing this book trailed in the Scottish Review of Books, I was keen to give it a read. Took a while to get hold of, but brought plenty of laughs when it arrived. Can't say I believe everything Scratchman has to say about the Orcadians, but that's OK with me. And it triggered plenty of memories from my time in these beautiful islands.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)