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Customer Review

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative and moving, 29 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Sunset Song (Paperback)
No this isn't the easiest book to read - I'm a Scot but found myself referring to the glossary regularly. Though adding words like 'gowked' (stupified) and 'glunch' (to mutter half threateningly, half fearfully) to my vocabulary may be worthwhile! While the opening section which describes the village of Kinraddie and its occupants is hard going. However, once the story starts and sets the focus on it main character Chris Guthrie what develops it wonderful.

This is a beautiful picture of a soon to be lost way of life - small holding tenant farmers eking out an existence in north east Scotland at the beginning of the 20th century. Gibbon creates a number of strong memorable characters, Chris, Chae, Long Rob of The Mill who bring the whole thing life, by the end I felt I had known them all personally. While the life of the village is conveyed affectionately yet unsentimental, there is no shortage of hardship and precious few unblemished characters. This is also a surprisingly modern novel in the way it deals with sex - never explicit but definitely sensual.

The coming of the WW1 heralds the end of the way of life that the village had known for generations. Gibbon paints a very believable picture of how that war impacted on one remote village.

By the end I felt I had had a little peek into the lives of a generation of Scots - little older than my parents - yet whose lives were so different from my own

No easy read - but well worth the effort.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Aug 2010 14:15:03 BDT
A. macrae says:
the geography is incorrect- the book is based in the "mearns" which is in north east scotland, not north west, about 30 miles approx from Dundee, north wards towards Aberdeen, hence the language used

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2010 07:46:21 BDT
Lendrick says:
of course it's in the north east - quite why I typed 'north west' is a mystery to me. But well spotted!

Posted on 25 Dec 2011 20:00:56 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Dec 2011 20:01:58 GMT]
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Lendrick
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,609