Top critical review
Worth a read despite, and sometimes because of, its faults
on 2 August 2016
Good explanations of aspects of Scotland's geology written lucidly for the non-specialist. It does not claim to, and does not attempt to, provide a chronological or complete account of the geology of Scotland, but dips into certain topics which have proved important in the history of the science generally and in understanding of the phenomena, the Highlands being an area where early controversies were played out and many new concepts spawned. The spats between the geological establishment and the mavericks, who often proved to be right, are well recounted, but the generalisations from these about how science advances are dangerously close to asserting that only those who defy the consensus give rise to progress in knowledge. His position on this ties in with his apparent scepticism about climate change (he is by background an oilman and the book is sponsored by an oil company (Cairn Energy)) and his vilification of the wind industry; this goes well beyond the self-evident "in geological terms current climate change is insignificant".
His humorous asides may irritate some; I found some amusing, some annoying.
The author should sack his proof-reader (knappes, acritachs, Malaig); the book is also let down by poor editing (one or two paragraphs just don't make sense), and would benefit from better/larger maps and diagrams. Also the diagrams, mostly sourced from elsewhere, are not properly referenced, and the index is a bit perfunctory.