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Monty Halls' Great Escape: Beachcomber Cottage Paperback – 5 Mar 2009
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From the Author
I had always wanted to know if the dream we all have of escaping the rat race holds true. Having been profoundly touched by Gavin Maxwell's book Ring of Bright Water as a child, I decided to move to a tiny bothy on the west cost of Scotland to see if reality matched the fantasy. I hasten to add that I'm certainly no survival expert, being somewhat notorious amongst my friends down south for being a blithering incompetent at DIY and cooking (and being on my own!). The book tells the story of the magical place I found, and the alchemy of my personal journey through the good times and the bad. It is mainly anecdotal, not really and DIY / cooking / wildlife guide - I hope it reads slightly more as a diary of the ups and downs of living the simple life (which turns out to be bloody complicated). I found a very special place in Applecross - the small fishing and crofting community where the bothy is based, and the memory of the last six months will stay with me forever. Hopefully this comes across in the book.
About the Author
A successful explorer, marine biologist and writer, Monty Halls has led numerous expeditions and projects throughout the world, including three circumnavigations of the earth seeking out the greatest encounters in the oceans. His television credits include presenting Channel 4's Journey to the Centre of the Earth (the science behind Jules Verne's novel), Discovery's Rebuilding the Past (an attempt to recreate an Iron Age settlement) and Five's Great Ocean Adventures, for which he was also the author of the accompanying book. Monty operates the adventure travel company, Full Circle Expeditions, and is also a leading motivational speaker.
Top customer reviews
The book and the TV programme both reminded me why I love this beautiful place so much.
I simply can't imagine how on Earth Monty is going to return to living in a city.
Interesting to read, great anecdotes, and ultimately, good for the soul.
Other people may find it twee and sentimental, but if you're the kind of person who enjoyed watching Peak Practice on a Sunday night, then you'll like this book.
Having just visited Skye, which is just across the water from Applecross, the book had a special meaning for me, and Skye is mentioned on numerous occasions throughout the book.
Monty's dog, Reuben, is a great and mischievious character too, and full of energy.
I loved Monty's account of running up the conical shaped mountain on Skye. It had me laughing out loud as he described his tearing pain.
This is a superb true story of a man living off the land with beautiful Scotland as a backdrop. It's an easy read, and comes highly recommended.
Monty Hall describes himself variously as a "posh bloke", a Southerner, a Sassenach, a little boy out for an adventure and a hopeless DIYer, so he's probably not best suited to moving to the remotest corner of Scotland and taking on the ramshackle shell of an old cottage that needs totally renovating - all that's left are the outer walls, it hasn't even got a roof !! It's One Man and His Dog meets The Good Life meets The Wild Wild West (of Scotland !!) and the sense of adventure and well-earned self-satisfaction that Monty feels are palpable. With a lot of help from his new neighbours, Monty manages to live the traditional life of a crofter for 6 months, helping the "bothy" reemerge as a solid dwelling complete with vegetable garden and livestock. The description of the never-ending battle between man and the elements is exciting enough, but Monty also takes time out to introduce us to the spectacular scenery and wildlife of his unspoilt surroundings (complete with photos - his encounters with a magnificent stag on the beach and huge basking sharks are incredible), not to mention some of the more eccentric members of the local community !
The whole book is a great advertisement for Scotland - it certainly makes me want to go and discover the rugged beaches and remote heather-covered hillsides he describes - and I'm sure the accompanying TV series, which I haven't seen, only adds to this, showing the countryside and wildlife in all its glory. It's a real breath of fresh air.
Most recent customer reviews
Having spent vacation time in the Applecross Peninsula it was a no-brainer decision to buy and read this book. Read morePublished on 12 Jun. 2015 by R. Mcpherson
Wonderful book, thoroughly enjoyed it, he has a really good sense of humor and as it was bought secondhand i was not expecting a good copy, it was almost in perfect condition!Published on 7 Jan. 2014 by Mr. S. Wood
My husband who has never read a book in his life has just finished this book and has immediatelyordered the next in the listPublished on 1 May 2013 by Mrs. Janice E. Baldwin
I picked up this book in the library, thinking it might be a relaxing holiday read. It was, but it was also so much more than that. Read morePublished on 26 Aug. 2010 by Cloudy
Don't get ripped off by expensive second-hand copies from some of the private sellers on here though. One chancer (ElitedigitalUK) had it up for sale at £189.95 plus postage! Read morePublished on 22 Aug. 2010 by gaisieh
Having watched Monty's series on BBC I was keen to read the book which didn't disappoint. Monty's style of writing is nice and easy to read and he conveys the wonderful feeling of... Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2009 by Goldfishrock