8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Epic and impressive but less than enjoyable,
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This review is from: And the Land Lay Still (Kindle Edition)
I decided to read this book after hearing a lot about it on the radio and with the intention of soaking up some Scots history, in order to learn a bit more about part of my family background. Having raced through the early part of the novel I went on to find the heavier sections of the book hard work to push myself through and discouraging, I wanted to carry on loving the book but I lost the will during the first section on Peter Bond. After this reading the novel became a worthy task that I pursued at intervals between periods of lighter reading. I found the ending far from satisfying, I felt as if reading the characters and following their connections had been leading me towards a hard-earned climax but then the novel finished before it arrived.
I developed a deep and sympathetic interest with some of the characters. I was interested in Don and Billy, less so in Michael, I enjoyed certain sections of the plot but it also included a fair amount of violence, aggression and a rape scene which I found difficult to read and have haunted me since.
The political and historical content of the novel is huge, and I wouldn't have read a book that only included this information so something was accomplished in working in what I, afterwards, discovered to be more historical events than I had realised (the line between fact and fiction here for me being pleasingly blurry). The plot structure is sprawling and impressive. However, for me the fact that after about the first quarter I did not find the book pleasurable to read means I won't be recommending it to others.
'And the land lay still' is an impressive accomplishment but not a pleasure to read.
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Initial post: 25 Jan 2013 14:59:37 GMT
Unlike Poppy I found the book enjoyable from beginning to end! However, I have always loved Scotland, and although I am an Englishman living in Wales I visit Scotland most years. The authentic Scots dialect is hard going for those not familiar with it. I liked this book so much that, after borrowing it from the library, I decided I had to have my own copy in order to read it again, and this time to annotate interesting passages for further thought.
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