- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable Place Paperback – 7 Apr 2016
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Evocative. . .A lively, often funny tribute to the place and to the people he meets there. . .Island of Dreams shows him emerging from the shadow of his hero to become a gifted writer himself (Daily Mail)
Enigmatic yet compelling . . . The book returned me to an adolescent passion for Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water (Katharine Norbury Guardian)
I was gripped from start to finish by Dan Boothby's ISLAND OF DREAMS. . . Never overdone, pretentious, self-absorbed or sentimental, it is written with skill and expertise with all the conviction and authority it needs to enthrall. The descriptive passages are traced with deep sensitivity and richly evocative of people, turning seasons, the loneliness of island life, and the enticing contours of the location. This is a fitting and poignant tribute to the enduring value of the Ring of Bright Water Trilogy, written as a personal quest of devotion and discovery. Boothby's disarmingly personal approach draws you into the thrall and mystique of Maxwell's literary landscape by revealing as much about the writer's self as weaving a love-spell to the island and its ghosts (Miriam Darlington, author of OTTER COUNTRY)
Island of Dreams, like its inspiration Raven Seek Thy Brother, becomes an elegy - not for a lost way of life, but for a dream tenaciously pursued and regretfully abandoned (Ariane Bankes Literary Review)
This lovely book offers an elliptical portrait of the enigmatic Gavin Maxwell, and an equally elliptical portrait of its author. A delightful meditation on the impossibility of really knowing anyone, not least ourselves. (Katharine Norbury, author of THE FISH LADDER)
Boothby is entranced by Gavin Maxwell, not because of otters, nor through any overt kinship with the boys who shared the writer's odd life, but because Maxwell seemed always to occupy the debatable lands between the self one knows, the self that is reflected in others and the self that only exists in the act of writing. . .The message - one message - of this remarkable, deceptive book is that not much stays, in any state, and that belonging, like ownership, is only ever partial and never-finished (National)
The writing is as crisp as the coastal air, shot through with the humour of humanity and bright animal magic (Saga)
A deeply personal memoir about the search for home.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
The lighthouse is no longer a lighthouse, and the island is barely an island – it serves as a foot of the Skye Bridge between Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh. Boothby has been fascinated by the life and works of Gavin Maxwell since he was young, so when he was given the chance to live on the island, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to walk in the man’s footsteps, but at times reading this book you get the feeling that the footsteps are faint and the trail is cold.
There is a tremendous sense of melancholy throughout the book, aided in part by the depiction of the almost constant Inner Hebridean rain, but mostly coming from Boothby’s attempts to connect with the past while living in a run-down, derelict present. The spectre of death hangs over the book, to the extent that the depiction of a funeral about half-way through fits in with the tone of the book as a whole.
He weaves accounts of Maxwell’s life through the book, tying in his growing understanding of this complicated and infuriating man as he spends more and more time on the island. These accounts are fascinating, but if you want a complete biography of Maxwell, look elsewhere.
But I have to admit, I’ve never been particularly interested in Maxwell anyway. Probably unlike most people, that’s not why I picked up this book.
I grew up on Skye, just a few miles from where Boothby worked. I’ve never seen the Skye Bridge – when I lived there in the 80s, you still had to get the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin.Read more ›
After finishing the book I had a feeling of sadness that the island hadn't completely fulfilled the author's hopes and desires.
In Welsh there is a word, Hiraeth, which literally translated means homesickness, but in another form, Hiraethau, means 'grief or sorrow after the lost or departed', 'longing', 'yearning', 'nostalgia', 'wistfulness' and 'earnest desire'. These words to me sum up the book.
I hope the author eventually finds what he is looking for, somewhere to settle and call home, a sense of belonging.
Whatever happens in the future though, keep writing!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this at the end of a Hebridean holiday to help ease the pain of a return to city life and I enjoyed it very much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by I. Fergus
The book is excellent and I shall enjoy reading it as I am a big fan of the Island of Skye.
AS A LOVER OF THE HIGHLANDS IT WAS RIGHT UP MY STREET - NICE ONE DAN !Published 3 months ago by NICHOLAS Y.
Dan's story, as he traces the steps of Gavin Maxwell and lives for a couple of years on the island of Eilean Ban in the Kyle of Lochalsh, is insightful, poignant and entertaining. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jo Woolf
I'll admit I bought this book in a hurry expecting it to live up to the cover (which I now see is a depiction of the Gavin Maxwell days). Read morePublished 8 months ago by daveO
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although I know about Gavin Maxwell the only book I've actually read of his is 'Lords of the Atlas', so I was happy to read everything about him. Read morePublished 9 months ago by CATHY WOODHEAD
Lovely book,gives another perspective on the Gavin Maxwell story. Dan Boothby is a writer to watch,I look forward to seeing more of his work.Published 11 months ago by don V
Richard Frere wrote a book called Maxwell's Ghost and a fine read it is but I think the title would have been more fitting for this book as the author revisits old Maxwell haunts... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Colin G. Wilson