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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, evocative work from a celebrated storyteller
I read this book by chance and with no expectation of anything beyond a predictably dull, ghost written memoir. What I discovered instead was a beautifully written evocation of a rapidly vanishing life and culture. Williamson is a master storyteller, and the simplicity of his prose belies his genius. His work casts a unique light onto the lives of a generation of...
Published on 18 Sep 2008 by A. M. Fletcher

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
I bought this book, as i,m interested in all things native. Unfortunately i just couldnt get into it. It is based in Scotland, and all the talking is done in an old Scottish accent, which is fine if you came from Scotland.I,m from down South! But please dont be put off by my opinion,it just didnt appeal to me.
Published 21 months ago by Pauline Kirby


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, evocative work from a celebrated storyteller, 18 Sep 2008
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A. M. Fletcher (, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 (Paperback)
I read this book by chance and with no expectation of anything beyond a predictably dull, ghost written memoir. What I discovered instead was a beautifully written evocation of a rapidly vanishing life and culture. Williamson is a master storyteller, and the simplicity of his prose belies his genius. His work casts a unique light onto the lives of a generation of travellers: their ballads, their poetry, their stories and their music. Williamson seems to stand within the continuity of a long oral tradition, one sustained by the very human values of kindness and mutual respect so lacking today. As the man himself says, 'stories was wir education.'
Hamish Henderson, the greatest Scottish folk-collector and himself a legendary figure, was quick to recognise his unique qualities of singer and storyteller: "Duncan Williamson," he said, "is the Scottish folk tradition in one man."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ, 18 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 (Paperback)
This is a book recalling the life of a Highland Traveller in bygone days it is mainly written in Scottish dialect so unless you are acquainted with this manner of speech takes you awhile to read, nonetheless it makes a very interesting read, so glad I purchased one for myself and one for a Birthday gift.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 (Paperback)
I bought this book, as i,m interested in all things native. Unfortunately i just couldnt get into it. It is based in Scotland, and all the talking is done in an old Scottish accent, which is fine if you came from Scotland.I,m from down South! But please dont be put off by my opinion,it just didnt appeal to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the storyman, 14 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 (Paperback)
If DW is remembered by posterity (and I hope he will be) it will be as a storyteller and ballad singer: in the old parlance, a seanchaidhe. Yet this autobiography, transcribed from his telling before he became widely known, concentrates on his career as a horse-dealer; presumably that was where they felt the market was at the time. There is almost nothing about he acquired and practiced his immense repertoire of traditional Traveller stories. In fact, I've read other biographical material on him, like his chapter in Neat's Voice of the Bard, and this has almost nothing in common with it. An awful lot of interesting material is simply left out.

This is still good stuff. It doesn't give you the atmosphere of day-to-day traveller life like Betsy Whyte's Yellow On The Broom; but, against that, it isn't in the least literary and has the real vernacular sense of 'a tale told'. It's just a shame that it wasn't revised to reflect his real claim to fame, and shed more light on his context within his own community. For my money, it's better to read the stories themselves - and better still to listen to them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book version better, 6 July 2013
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I got this on kindle then got the hardback version as kindle was missing a lot of the photos and illustrations. I'm glad I got the book second hand and it fever me a better feeling for the content and stories. This is one problem with kindle where you don't get to appreciate visual descriptions .
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 30 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 (Paperback)
This book is very interesting, but I am finding it hard going. Maybe its just me and I will get into it as I get further in. Don't be put off someone else will maybe find it easier than me.
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The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58
The Horsieman: Memories of a Traveller 1928-58 by Duncan Williamson (Paperback - 21 April 2008)
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