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Sunset Song Paperback – 30 Mar 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Classics; Main edition (30 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841957569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841957562
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This book may be read with delight the world over." (New York Times)

"Beautifully written novel about a rural Scottish community facing the acute changes wrought by the First World War. While describing a way of life in decline, it also presents a vision of hope for the future via its strong female lead character." (Independant on Sunday)

"It is gritty and passionate and one of Scotland's great 20th-century novels" (Jim Naughtie Daily Express)

Book Description

A film tie-in edition of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's classic novel --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many people seem to think this novel is "about" Chris, the central female character. Personally I thought it was about rural Scottish life in the early 1900's, and how a particular community comes to be affected by issues far outside of its own borders and its own control.

The close relationships and way of life within a community such as this, means that even very trivial events or actions carried out by an individual all carry great importance to others. Gossip and rumour necessarily play a significant role in the novel.

The unique writing style of the novel does initially make it very hard to read. Sentences are long, and are often not restricted to a single subject or idea, but once the reader learns to engage with the narrator and understands the style, it is like being told a story by a trusted friend.

By the end of the novel, the reader can closely identify with each of the characters, and as their individual fates are decided, it is impossible not to feel a high degree of sympathy for each of them. I personally found it a very moving read - but must admit that had I not had to study this book as part of my degree, I may well have put it down early on and not picked it back up - that would truly have been a great shame. Stick with it, and you will be glad you did!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit first of all, I found the dialect of this book difficult to get into. Thank God there was a list of translations at the back. However after I got into the rhythm of the language, the story itself revealed the truth, hardship and joy of a farmers life.

Chris the heroine, gives up her dreams of becomming a teacher, and any fancy notions to work her family farm.

The brutality and drive of her father, and his incredible influence over the whole family unit, is uncompromising.

Gibbon, brings the whole community of Blawarie, to the book, their prejudices and ways of dealing with issues.

The depiction of how WW1 affects the community is brilliant in its understatement and utter devastation, not only of people but of a whole way of life and it's effect on the environment.

Sunset song reads like a song, a ballad of a way of life, that WW1 helped destroy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this story interesting and informative. It gave an honest account of the harsh living conditions and lives of the people at that period before the war. The lives of ordinary women and children was harsh and, often cruel. However, having to look up the meanings of the old Scots words and phrases was a bit annoying.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I seldom like novels, but this one is special, being both a story beautifully told, and an allegorical reflection on the changes that the 20th Century and WW1 brought to the rural communities of Scotland, and no doubt equally applicable to other parts of the UK. A real classic. I've since bought the other two books of the trilogy, but haven't yet had time to read them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book following a review on the radio recently. I was not disappointed. However one of the reasons for selecting it was to include it in my list of recommendations for my own Book Group located in rural Shropshire where we have read with interest and some effort the works of Mary Webb and all the rural language there in. I feel there are too many language issues for the non Scots in my group to tackle this book despite the excellent glossary. I am a Scottish emigre to Shropshire but struggled a few times and had to refer to the glossary. That aside this is a wonderful peak into a world of hard pressed farmers, shamed young men and the pointlessness of war to so many in that far off backwater so near to Aberdeen but so far even at a time when road and rail travel were becoming accessible to all.
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Format: Paperback
Unflinching and honest portrayal of a young girl growing up, and facing hardship. Beautifully written in (what Gibbon himself admits is) pseudo-Scots dialect, this book thoroughly blew me away.

Considering this is written by a man, this book is incredibly realistic at conveying Chris's feelings and thoughts as she faces adulthood, sex and generally growing up. A must for any teenage girl to read, and wonderful for those of us slightly older too!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book so evocative of a time and a way of life now gone I could almost smell the cattle dung. The harsh realities of Chris Guthrie's life are presented in a totally factual way, but the emotions provoked are raw and powerful. She struggles at times with the unfair hand fate has dealt, then accepts and moves on. The land of the Mearns, a relatively unknown part of Scotland even for the Scots, plays its own part in this excellent book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful colourful use of the Old Scottish tongue make every page a joy. A marvelous picture of pre, inter, and post Great War rural Scotland is painted.
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