The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland (Canons) Paperback – 18 Aug 2011
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"The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain" (Guardian)
"Most works of mountain literature are written by men, and most of them focus on the goal of the summit. Nan Shepherd's aimless, sensual exploration of the Cairngorms is bracingly different" (Robert Macfarlane)
Introduced by Robert MacfarlaneSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Nan's use of language is poetic and beautifully visual and completely different from anything you will usually read about living and enjoying the mountains.
This is a must read for anyone who loves the Cairngorms, Scotland, or mountains in general. But if you simply have a love of beautiful language then you will find this a perfect introduction to the wilderness.
Although, as the title suggests, its about mountains, (and is specifically about the Cairngorms), more fundamentally it is about nature and our human relationship with nature. For this reason I think anyone interested in nature could get something from it.
I always thought I was quite aware of nature, wildlife, light etc. I spend a lot of time outside, walking, cycling, watching wildlife. But this book made me realise I'd hardly even begun to look or listen. I don't even know my own back garden as well as Nan Shepherd got to know a mountain range!
Its also so refreshing to read a book about mountainsthat doesn't involve 'conquering' them. There are a few amazing wildlife experiences described but mostly she opens our eyes and our minds to the beauty in the ordinary - things we could all see every day if only we took the time to see them.
It has become one of my favourite books ever and I have alreday re-read parts.
My copy had a rather long winded introduction by Robert MacFarlane. Nan speaks very well for herself without the need for this!
This is an intimate and detailed study of the Cairngorms that focuses far more on rivers and light, the freezing of streams and the disorientation of mist, than it does does peaks or particular journeys. In this way the book seems directionless, but only if direction is defined in a geographical fashion. If the direction of travel relates to a journey of understanding then the book is not directionless at all, and charts the authors growing knowledge of the mountains.
If you are looking for a book full of daring deeds and heroic ascents, then this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a thoughtful account of how people build an emotional connection to a place and how individual aspects of that place can combine to form wonder, then you should read this book.
Once again finding a book by chance in a good bookshop has proven the way to find unexpected gems
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.This book is a primer for the senses and the reading of the written word,bathed in a crystal glow of the elements,saturated with Being.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poetry in prose. An absolutely stunning book, especially if you are familiar with the Cairngorm mountains this book will have an extra special resonance. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Treespirit
Fine book and fine delivery, thank you very much! Best wishes, JeannettePublished 22 days ago by Jeannette
Excellent writing that exudes her love of nature. Written many years ago but still very relevant.Published 1 month ago by colin hebden
A monument to the massif. The book overwhelmed me with the philosophical attributes of a mountain, and itself has became like the rock of the mountain.Published 1 month ago by Craig
Possibly the most beautiful writing I've ever read. It's only 101 pages long. Her language is crystalline and transparent, and this is actually poetry. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anomalous Monist
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