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4.7 out of 5 stars
34
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 4 January 2017
One of the best books I have ever read. Great narrative of a well constructed world - the world of herring fishing in the far North of Scotland. The physical journey it takes you on and the journey of the characters who one comes to love. I visited Wick in the summer and Dalbieth where Gunn comes from and came across a statue of a character from one of his other books. So I asked which his best book was and this was it. I was enthralled.
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on 27 August 2017
Superb account of the dangerous lives of the herring fisherman of Scotland's north east coast around the time of the Highland clearances.
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on 1 September 2015
This is a fantastic story. I love the characters and will miss them when I finish
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on 11 September 2017
Great book.
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on 10 April 2017
So good I had to visit!! I really enjoyed this book and the story told here
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on 15 January 2002
Gunn,like Hardy, Dostoevsky, and Faulkner, writes with novels with universal meaning but a strong sense of place. The Silver Darlings seems to put you directly into Caithness after the Clearances, with clearly drawn characters and a touch of the mystical. An extraordinary book.
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on 10 July 2010
The Silver Darlings is one of the best books ever written in English. It begs comparison with the work of the Russian greats - the psychological insight has a deftness and heartstopping accuracy that lifts the narrative beyond storytelling. Yes, Gunn IS a gifted storyteller, and you will be turning the pages faster and faster to find out what happens next, but the true value of the work is in its pure humanity. You will finish it and feel not only entertained and moved by the adventures of the characters, but also less alone yourself, and perhaps wiser. It is rare to find a book that illuminates so many different types of human relationships: romantic, platonic, familial, economic. For among other things, The Silver Darlings is a paean to economic freedom: a world in which men find honour by owning their means of production, rather than working as serfs on another man's land. This still has a lot of resonance today.
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on 25 April 2008
I loved this book. Neil Gunn's view of boyhood and the interaction between Fin and those around him was so well written. I can remember going through these wild changes of mood and emotion as I grew up and I can see it happening in my own son today. Within this is an expertly woven story of post Clearances Scotland and the development of the newly formed fishing industry. Gunn delicately builds his characters with gentleness and detail that allows you to feel real empathy for them. I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially fathers of young boys.
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on 14 January 2007
Cover notes are not always an accurate guide, but in this case they are. This novel, probably Gunn's best-known, is indeed 'packed with telling incident and thrilling adventure'.
The story focuses on Finn, a living symbol of Scotland's heroic past, as he grows through boyhood to maturity and fulfilment, bringing hope to his widowed mother and to the coastal communities of Caithness and Sutherland.
Finn is not "whiter than white": he delights in the challenges of life and on occasions is dangerously impetuous; but he displays the kind of male strength that leaves room for tenderness and sacrificial love. As a boy, he undertakes a walk of marathon proportions in order to seek help when cholera strikes his village, and later risks his life in the face of sea and storm in attempting to rescue his fellow fishermen.
Look out for the thrilling voyage to Stornoway, and if you have an atlas, find a large-scale map of northern Scotland - a pity the book does not contain one!
If you can wait, read "Butcher's Broom" first, however, because it serves as an invaluable guide to the historical background. If, like me, you go on to read Gunn's other novels, you will not be disappointed.
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on 27 May 1999
" The Silver Darlings" is one of my favorite of Neil Gunn's books...and I have read them all. This saga handles the period in the Highlands of Scotland after the "Clearances" of the crofters off the land by the landlords in the mid 18th Century. It tells of the time when the people were forced to live near the seashores and had to become fisherman to survive. The sea adventure part of the book is riveting and full of heart-stopping suspense. I had to read it through in one sitting..I could not put it down. I think anyone who loves the sea will love this book.
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