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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement
The last time writer Andrew Greig visited elderly Scottish poet Norman MacCaig before his death, he asked where his favorite place in the world was. MacCaig, who divided his life between Edinburgh and Assynt in the far north-west replied that it was a remote hill loch. It had been many years since Norman had been fit enough to visit the spot, and he asked Andrew Greig to...
Published on 18 April 2010 by doublegone

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars almost
I like Maccaig and know Assynt well and, as a climber, had read Greig's Everest book many years ago.I very much enjoyed the first half of this book - which is beautifully and perceptively written. I felt, however, that the whole was less than the sum of its parts and became a little disappointed by what seemed to me to be an over zealous attempt to knit together too...
Published on 6 July 2012 by Andrew Ogilvie


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable achievement, 18 April 2010
By 
doublegone (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
The last time writer Andrew Greig visited elderly Scottish poet Norman MacCaig before his death, he asked where his favorite place in the world was. MacCaig, who divided his life between Edinburgh and Assynt in the far north-west replied that it was a remote hill loch. It had been many years since Norman had been fit enough to visit the spot, and he asked Andrew Greig to go for him and catch a wild brown trout. The resulting expedition Greig made with two friends in pursuit of the loch and its trout is the central excuse for this book, but the story is draped in musings and recollections of friends and friendships lost, love, work, art, breakdowns, family, politics and history. It goes beyond being simply a good book to being something that might be described as an achievement.

Greig catptures a certain part of the Scottish psyche - torn just like MacCaig's life between urban and urbane Edinburgh - home of the enlightenment; and the Highlands imbued with the sad romance of the Gael.

I was drawn to this book as an angler in love with Assynt myself, but you needn't fish to enjoy it. Greig himself is no great angler and this is not a book about fishing. Its a book about life, told through the course of a trip to find a secret loch.

Wonderful. The sort of book that when you pass the halfway point makes you begin grieving for the thought of it finishing.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At the Loch of the Green Corrie, 10 April 2010
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
This exceptional book has been my companion over the past few days on a very peaceful break on the shores of Loch Tay. It is a very personal account of Andrew's relationship with the poems and life of Norman MacCaig, with his friends and family and with himself.

The author's evocative description of Assynt and its significance to Norman as a source of masterful poetry made me want to go to the Green Corrie myself with my copy of The Poems of Norman MacCaig and a hip flask of his favourite Glenmorangie to raise a glass to one of Scotland's greatest poets and, in Andrew Greig, now one of my favourite prose writers.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armchair Fishing, 16 April 2010
By 
Ms. S. M. Richards "Efrogwraig" (Sheffield) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
I've read everything Andrew Greig has written. I started with the novel "When they lay bare" as I was on holiday in the Scottish Borders and wanted a book to fit. I loved it and sought out his other books. Each one different, each one great. I've Macnabbed, lived through the second world war, golfed around Scotland, armchair climbed in the Himalyayas with Mal Duff and now I have armchair fished in Assynt. I thought this would be the one I couldn't get into. Flyfishing???? A cast too far? But I loved this book too, even the fishing bits but it's so much more. The geology, the poetry, the stories, the personal reflections. He's a Polymath but not a geek. He wears it lightly but there is clear depth. Already recommending it enthusiastically to friends - a bit hard to do "well it's fly fishing & poetry with some geology and reflective stuff" perhaps not a great way to promote it but go get it, savour it; a book giving a link with the past to the old poets of the 30's 40's 50's 60's but bang up to date and modern. Roll on next book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norman MacCaig would smile., 15 Jun 2013
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This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
I discovered MacCaig's unique genius some time ago and through him found Andrew Grieg. At the Loch of the Green Corrie is a beatifully constructed book. The main theme is a journey to fulfil a promise to MacCaig, but Grieg adds to it with memories of his life - not self indulgent, but relevant to Scotland, MacCaig and life in general. His prose are very much like free verse, that so beloved by MacCaig, and at times have a rhythm which resonates very deep within. I have climbed mountains in the Northwest Highlands for years and have read many books on the Moine Thrust, Assynt and it's history, but for the first time everything is in this one book. Accurate views on the Clearances and Culloden and the relevance of Hutton to world geology give you an idea of how extensive this writing is; but at all times Norman MacCaig accompanies the author. This is a lovely book and it makes you think - which is never a bad thing. Ultimately it is a group of friends in tents and the hero is a deceased fish. Norman MacCaig would have enjoyed the effort and the simplicity. Thank you Andrew Grieg. Promises should be kept like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to get rid off, 25 Oct 2012
I stumbled upon the "Loch of the Green Corrie" while browsing for books on Assynt in preparing a motorcycle tour to the north-west of Scotland. How little did I know what awaited me once I had embarked on getting into Greig's narrative. Along the flight of stairs up to the poet's apartment; into the past of Assynt summers; out and about in the great openness of the Assynt hills the attention followed Greig's writing and took with it a considerable part of my own personal reflections: is there indeed - and if so who - a person that has similarly exercised tutorship for ourselves as the poet did for Greig? What a revelation to find that there does indeed exist someone like that. And what about the three friends fishing up north? How many close associates do we have to venture out with us thus unconditionally reflective? It felt reassuring to realize that there are people indeed who would be ready to do so. And yet the doubts, the understanding and acceptance of past as bridging to future without losing trail were sometimes painful to read - but so very much to the point. As is McCaig's poetry itself: one moment we see clearly and yet we don't. That probably is the most reassuring revelation of the book itself: without great fuss, plain simple but wonderfully encoded Greig shows through the fishing bet and the inner as well as the physical voyages that memory, present and future plans are nothing but the vital substance that cares for every need - life as a single frame, whatever the language or the code we use for the moment to describe it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be surprised, 19 Feb 2012
By 
Gerald Turner - See all my reviews
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A most unusual book that is ostensibly an account of a fishing trip, but includes a study of Norman MacCaig as poet and friend, a Guide to Assynt in NW Scotland, its geology, people and the Highland Clearances, autobiography, philosophy, the art of fishing and reflections on the human condition, all beautifully written. There's a feel-good factor about it, but also much cause for reflection. The flash-back technique used may be disconcerting at first, but one soon gets used to it. This is a book not just for Scots, poets or fishermen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic but not poetry., 10 Feb 2012
By 
James Hutton (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
I've read Andrew Greig's fiction & non-fiction before but don't like his poetry. As I'm flush at the moment I bought Andrew Greig's the loch of the green corrie, excellent; in the same vein as the golf book but just brilliant its about fishing NO poetry NO Scotland NO friends NO geology NO loss & life the universe and everything. And I'm not just kidding about the life, the universe and everything part. A must read, though strangely for a travel/ing book I'm having to read it like poetry and just bite off and digest a little at a time. Haven't finished it yet but can't recommend it enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poetry of the wild, 20 Aug 2011
By 
M Allan "Michael" (uk) - See all my reviews
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Ignore the few poor reviews for this book, they seem to have been reading some version of it in their own heads. A moving book in the realm of the personal, the poetic and the wild. One of the most satisfying and enjoyable books I have read in a good while.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer poetry., 6 May 2011
By 
Maygar (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
I read this book because of MacCaig: others might read it because they love fishing, or the West Highlands, or the fiction of Andrew Grieg. The book delighted me, and I am sure it would delight all those others too.

MacCaig's love of Assynt was something he shared with his admiring acolyte Greig, and a casual conversation about the best fishing loch led Greig to make a pilgrimage after the death of MacCaig to the Loch of the Green Corrie with two friends. It was a pilgrimage into his own inner life, too, though, and this is the real subject of the book. However, along the way we explore Scotland's troubled history; Greig's personal community of friends and lovers; MacCaig's brotherhood of poets; geology and creationism; the dichotomy of whisky; and finally, a glorious pen portrait of Norman's soul mate AK McLeod.

There are passages of lyrical beauty here, and Greig has achieved something quite remarkable in his blending of the imagery of MacCaig with his own lucid style. Every gleam of light, flicker of water and wisp of wind in Assynt resonates with MacCaig's poetry and Greig pays homage to the poet and the land.

However, as Greig's expedition is also one of self-reflection, this book challenged me to make the same journey and something shifted inside me as I read it. I will carry this book in my heart and mind for a long time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An existential journey, 9 Nov 2010
This review is from: At the Loch of the Green Corrie (Hardcover)
In his last couple of books, and this one especially, Andrew Greig has invited the reader into his existential world with a range of reflections that are as direct and as powerful as McCaig's poetry.Simultaneously the reader is in the story and behind the story in such a way that engaged me more fully than any other work.Greig's first love is poetry - perhaps this new genre of writing will in time be seen as a form of poetry.
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At the Loch of the Green Corrie
At the Loch of the Green Corrie by Andrew Greig (Hardcover - 1 April 2010)
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