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Murdo : The Life and Works (Murdo and Other Stories / Thoughts of Murdo / Life of Murdo) Paperback – 1 Jul 2001
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About the Author
Iain Crichton Smith was one of the best-loved and most prolific Scottish authors of the twentieth century. He was born in Glasgow, brought up in Lewis, and attended university in Aberdeen. After starting work as a teacher in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he taught at the High School in Oban until he took early retirement in 1977. He was the recipient of many literary awards and received an OBE in 1980. His widow, Donalda, still lives in Taynuilt, where the couple moved after their marriage in 1977. Stewart Conn was born in Glasgow in 1936. He has been called 'one of Scotland's most skilled and wide-ranging poets'. Over recent decades his work, with its distinctive rhythmic and lyrical qualities, has been widely published, anthologized and translated. His works include "The Breakfast Room," "The Loving Cup," "Ghosts at Cockcrow" and "Stolen Light: Selected Poems." He lives in Edinburgh.
Top customer reviews
Of course it helps if you are familiar with life as lived in the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland, where eccentricity is treated as normal, and if you are lucky enough to live there (I do; smug face) you will recognise many of your friends and neighbours. (Murdo's political prospectus is only very marginally less loony than the real one we receive every year from one local candidate, believe me.) But even if you've never been north of Neasden there is much to enjoy about this engagingly crackpot character.
Of course, like all true crackpots, Murdo regards himself as supremely rational, the only sane man left in a crazy universe, desperately trying to rid his neighbours of such lunatic ideas as geography, public toilets and the like. (In Mudo's island-centric view there is no need for public toilets since every house has a lavatory and if you are 'caught short' away from home you should simply knock on a door and ask to use theirs, thus increasing neighbourliness and social harmony.)
It's said that Murdo character is Iain Cnrichton Smith's alter ego, but I'd say he is the alter ego of any abnormal, well-balanced person. Read these short stories and dream of how your life could be if only you, too, had the courage to wear a red hat at all times, and discourse on Kafka with baffled neighbours.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In short - Murdo's a string of good ideas that could have gone somewhere, but didn't. I laughed twice during the whole book!
Recommended instead - Consider the Lilies (a serious novel, but unlike this, at least a classic).