Lighthouse Paperback – 25 Aug 2006
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"A splendid book which has enriched my understanding of human nature."
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"Well yes, said the six-foot-two-inches-tall fifteen stone Principal Keeper, I suppose you could say it was a bit like that sometimes if you wanted to, yes. Specially if you were the sort of person who has a tendency to let little things worry you a bit. But very few towers actually fall down you know; we dont lose a great number of keepers, least not in a normal week. Christ those cigars of yours stink; Id worry more about dying from suffocation if you were with us on our tower than I would about being smashed to buggery by the sea.
Our towers only a small one; itd have to be wouldnt it otherwise Id never fit in! Looking at the size of you I reckon we could squeeze you in somewhere if you wanted to come, so long as you wouldnt mind sleeping in the cage with the budgie. So what if Trinity have turned you down a couple of times? That was last year and the year before wasnt it? People come and people go; it was only a few weeks ago I heard theyd got someone new in there whos breaking the news gently to them now that the twentieth century looks like its here to stay. Buy me another drink and Ill tell you some more; and if anyone reprimands me for inviting you to come on our lighthouse Ill say I was under the influence of alcohol. Ill have one of those cigars in self-defence. Fucking hell, I thought I was a hard man; you mean you actually smoke those for pleasure? Jesus Christ." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is both a fascinating sociological sudy and a gripping human story. I can't recommend it too highly. Ditto another book by Tony Parker, THE PEOPLE OF PROVIDENCE, also published by Eland Books.
From start to finish this book - really a collection of interviews expertly collected in to themes - is a total delight.
The romance of what it must have been like to be a lighthouse keeper is strong for many of us.There is no longer such a job but anyone looking back in time and wondering if they would have enjoyed the life should read this book. You learn quickly about the 3 types of lighthouse (Land Light; Rock Light; Tower Light) and the 3 classes of keeper (Supernumerary Assistant Keeper (SAK); Assistant Keeper (AK); Principal Keeper (PK)).
You learn too that it is not just the fact that keepers spent weeks away from their families (with food running out!) that could be depressing. Also most keepers were constantly moved from one Light to another, all over the UK, so both they and their families would find it hard to put down roots.
One reviewer of this book complains that all the names have been changed. It was for good reason as many of the interviews are highly candid. Many keepers talk about each other and you can't wait to get to the next chapter to see if the feelings that one keeper had for another are mutual.
Interviews with the wives are actually very interesting too as you frequently learn the back stories about how her husband became a keeper OR what it is like to wait (and wait!) for the change in weather for her hubby to be able to come home.
You learn just what is involved in running a lighthouse, the (not very) technical ways of establishing how strong the wind is and how they spend their free time.("Barry has been reading a paperback by Margaret Drabble.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should anyone be interested in reading my review of this mostly undiscovered classic book, I found it to be warm and insightful. Read morePublished on 27 April 2014 by G Godmon
Best account of lighthouse life you can get. I have been trying to get a copy for a long time.Published on 31 Dec. 2013 by Mr. R. Marsh
I can well understand the deep disappointment experienced by anyone getting to the end of this absorbing book, having entered fully into the lives of the interviewees only to find... Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 2013 by D. Ashdown
I don't like to give this book two stars because it is so lovely to read. But I have to because having read the whole thing, I found that it was all an illusion. Read morePublished on 27 Aug. 2010 by Anglichanka
I must respectfully disagree with the previous reviews. Mr Parker has taken many genuine interviews and pasteurised them and concentrated them and edited them into this Bernard... Read morePublished on 5 Jun. 2009 by XIII Warrior