Top positive review
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A wonderful, evocative work from a celebrated storyteller
on 18 September 2008
I read this book by chance and with no expectation of anything beyond a predictably dull, ghost written memoir. What I discovered instead was a beautifully written evocation of a rapidly vanishing life and culture. Williamson is a master storyteller, and the simplicity of his prose belies his genius. His work casts a unique light onto the lives of a generation of travellers: their ballads, their poetry, their stories and their music. Williamson seems to stand within the continuity of a long oral tradition, one sustained by the very human values of kindness and mutual respect so lacking today. As the man himself says, 'stories was wir education.'
Hamish Henderson, the greatest Scottish folk-collector and himself a legendary figure, was quick to recognise his unique qualities of singer and storyteller: "Duncan Williamson," he said, "is the Scottish folk tradition in one man."