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Nairn In Darkness And Light (Arena Books) Paperback – 6 Oct 1988
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"The effect might echo Proust, or Alain-Fournier; the tone is completely distinctive" (Roy Foster Observer)
"Long matured, an exceptional malt of the mind... David Thomson's book is one that can be returned to time and time again to refresh with its vision and the brilliance of its writing" (Herald)
"His writing combines a feel for the "this-worldness" of his characters' lives with an understanding of the "otherworldness" they keep a place for in their consciousness. Which is a way of saying that the stylistic achievement depends upon a deep imaginative sympathy" (Guardian)
"A brilliantly original mix of love story, memoir and history" (Brian Moore)
'Thomson has a Proust-like memory for detail and everything seems to fit the place and time' - Financial TimesSee all Product description
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Whilst isolated from his family, he quickly became very attached to his life in Nairn. This book describes the life that he led and his evolving thoughts on life, friendships and the social inequalities that existed all around him. It is a beautiful account of Scottish rural life at that time, now completely lost through the passage of time. He also lays bare the fantasies that he had, chiefly during his two bouts of lying in a darkened room for six weeks when his eyes were at their most critical.
This book too is a delightful piece of social history, when horses and motor vehicles shared the same roads. He talks of the diminishing light over the upper classes, experienced post WW1. He gives us snippets of the extraordinary lives that they led hitherto by way of comparison. The effect of the great depression upon life in Nairn and surrounding areas is recounted well.
Woven into particularly the second half of the book, are pivotal moments in Scottish history, chiefly the Battle of Culloden. He also writes with feeling about the devastating effect of the highland clearances and compares this to the effect of the modernisation of the printing industry in the 1980s by Rupert Murdock, (although he does not name him) a subject obviously close to his heart.
In short this is a many-layered book, written in a unique style that will engage the reader immediately and draw them through to the end.