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Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper Paperback – 31 May 2004
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"What makes Stargazing such a beautiful book is that it is more than an elegy to a vanished profession. It is a elegy to youth and to the constellation of dreams, ambitions and anxieties that is more intense at 19 than it can ever be again." (Sunday Herald)
"Both an elegy to an extinct way of life and a tribute to the spirit and expertise of the men who embodied this romance of sea and sky." (The Observer)
"Few of these books, however, are as wistfully evocative or as thoughtful as Hill's Stargazing." (The Independent)
"A passionate account and a fine commemoration of the first profession ever to be made totally redundant." (Bella Bathurst, author of "The Lighthouse Stevensons")
"excellent" (The Scotsman Magazine)
From the Back Cover
"A generous book ... as full of lost dreams as a starry sky on a foggy night" Daily Telegraph
It is 1973 and Peter Hill, his head filled with the Vietnam War, Frank Zappa, Jack Kerouac, the Watergate trial and Coronation Street, is about to spend six months on various remote Scottish lighthouses, "keeping" with all manner of unusual and fascinating people.
This charming and beautifully written account of that time is not only a heartfelt lament for Hill's own youth and innocence but also for a simpler and more honest age.
"Poetic and evocative ... What makes Stargazing such a beautiful book is that it is more than an elegy to a vanished profession. It is an elegy to youth and to the constellation of dreams, ambitions and anxieties that is more intense at 19 than it can ever be again" Sunday Herald
"A gentle comedy of manners, which pitches the green-around-the-gills Hill - an adolescent idealist - into the intrinsically no- nonsense, manly world of the lighthouse" Independent
As read on bbc radio 4
Cover photograph: Courtesy of Photonica
Cover design: Ghost
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Top customer reviews
A fascinating window into the world of lighthouses before computers took over - but also a walk down memory lane for anybody who grew up in the late 60s or early 70s.
The author describes the lighthouses and relationships therein perfectly. It is just a shame that he didn't spend longer in the job - which would have enabled him to write a longer book.
This is a very "honest" book. It describes, in very accessible terms, the experiences of a young man learning about lighthouse keeping. Only once in a while does the author apply 20-20 hindsight to make an observation. It is perceptive and moving, but certainly not without a good amount of humour. My kind of book for sure and I recommend it to anyone. I am left with a feeling that I'd like to visit some of those lights and a sadness that he describes a lifestyle that is now past.
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