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Essential Scottish literature,
This review is from: And the Land Lay Still (Paperback)
How Robertson manages to collate the content of this novel into under 700 pages is quite an achievement. As a reader, you are driven to follow even the small details and sidestories to ensure you don't miss any key themes or characters.
In "And The Land Lay Still," Robertson looks into the psyche of the Scottish person, in all its diverse and broad characteristics. At times, it reads like a lament towards the 'stateless nation,' and at others it reads like an optimistic portrayal of what Scotland has become, in spite of all the difficulties its people have experienced.
It is difficult to pinpoint the main protagonist, though it appears to be Michael Pendreich, a bright man who has designs on his father's gift for photojournalism. This patriarchal relationship is common in Scottish society, and through Michael, Billy and Charlie Lennie, the Eddelstane family and the various other clusters of characters, this theme is dissected and explored.
The imagery and symbolism of post-industrial Scotland, revolutionary Scotland, and post-modernist Scotland are all weaved seamlessly like the Jute of the olden days. They are linked, but each story is very much distinct.
For Scots, in whatever shape they take, this novel is an essential piece of literature, and I think that Scottish education would benefit from including this in the curriculum.
A true masterpiece.