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8 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Place
This is a quite astounding novel, for many different reasons. It immediately evokes a strong sense of place through its descriptiveness and characterisation, and also through the distinctly Orcadian speech patterns of the characters. The story is told from multiple points of view, using different styles and weaving fantasy and reality in a way that makes the book more...
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by Caledonia558

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3.0 out of 5 stars not for me.
Obviously very well written but l just couldn't get in to it. That probably says more about me than the book.
Published 7 months ago by john smithies


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Place, 16 Feb 2011
This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
This is a quite astounding novel, for many different reasons. It immediately evokes a strong sense of place through its descriptiveness and characterisation, and also through the distinctly Orcadian speech patterns of the characters. The story is told from multiple points of view, using different styles and weaving fantasy and reality in a way that makes the book more intriguing and more difficult to put down as the story progresses. The individual characers' stories are interwoven with that of the community itself, making the novel's climax both saddening and compelling. Greenvoe could be read almost as an elegy for lost island communities, but there are also glimmers of hope in the book's ending. I have never come across another book quite like this, and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in Orkney, or just looking for a really unique read.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical, yet ominous portrait of island life, 22 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
Greenvoe is well worth reading for anyone interested in issues of island communities. It weaves ancient Orkney myth and legend, sometimes written in the literary style of the ancient "Orkneyinga Saga",with the dynamics of everyday life in a dwindling, island community. There are portents throughout of impending doom to the island. I especially like the character of Mrs. Elizabeth McKee, mother of the local minister and her struggle with her "demons of memory". I ended the book , moved and saddened by the theme of the disappearance of a local culture. Highly recommended Susan Richardson
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resisting the Dark Star, 6 Nov 2011
By 
Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
This was George's first novel, following magical, glimmering collections of poetry and short stories. Happily, despite the occasional awkward tone and structural problem, it manages to capture that unique vision he has of being able to portray the past, breathing over the shoulder of the present. He depicts the small community of Greenvoe trying to unite against the dark forces of the Black Star development, and paints the effects on individual lives, for whom the natural elements of wind, rain and cold had been their adverseries down the generations.

Interestingly, at the time George was writing this, Orkney was convulsed by opposition to proposed radium mining across her 'green glens and sleeping hills', and the parallels are clear for all to see. If you already know George's shorter work this would make the ideal start point to explore his novels; however, if you're unfamiliar with this 'master wordsmith of isolated places', I'd recommend the superb 'Calendar of Love' A Calendar of Love or 'A Time to Keep' A Time to Keep, or 'An Orkney Tapestry' (if available) Orkney Tapestry, which is a magical evocation of the spirit of Orkney, with beautiful line drawings by Sylvia Wishart.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not for me., 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Greenvoe (Kindle Edition)
Obviously very well written but l just couldn't get in to it. That probably says more about me than the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
This was an Interesting and haunting read very descriptive. Sometimes a bit dull but overall it was well
worth reading
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book!, 8 Feb 2011
This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book or not, but I started it and then found it hard to put down! GMB has such a wonderful turn of phrase and his descriptions of people and places are so poetic without being sentimental, you just feel that you are there amongst them. At times I wasn't sure if what I was reading was myth or reality, but it didn't matter as the story just flowed so beautifully. Dark at times, yes, but with moments of wry humour and the presence of hope amidst adversity. Can't wait to read another one of his!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 20 Oct 2014
This review is from: Greenvoe (Hardcover)
Am enjoying the read is a good as I expected.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 28 May 2014
By 
Stephen J. Oneil "sl10ch" (Hampshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Greenvoe (Paperback)
I bought this on the strength of a review on Radio 4 (Lorraine Kelly with Kate Mosse). I am fascinated by Scottish islands so I thought I would love it but I didn't.
I'm not an avid reader of fiction but I always have a book on the go. I thought I might get an angle on island life from a time gone by but the book did not deliver. I found the plot unnecessarily convoluted, I didn't like the structure and ultimately there was little satisfaction from reading it (but I did stick with it).
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Greenvoe
Greenvoe by George Mackay Brown (Paperback - 19 April 2007)
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