And the Land Lay Still

And the Land Lay Still[Epub] ➟ And the Land Lay Still By James Robertson – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Michael Pendreich is curating an exhibition of photographs by his late, celebrated father Angus for the National Gallery of Photography in Edinburgh The show will cover fifty years of Scottish life bu Michael Pendreich is Land Lay ePUB ✓ curating an exhibition of photographs by his late, celebrated father Angus for the National Gallery of Photography in Edinburgh The show will cover fifty years of Scottish life but, as he arranges the images and writes his catalogue essay, what story is And the PDF or Michael really trying to tell his father s, his own or that of Scotland itself And what of the stories of the individuals captured by Angus Pendreich s lens over all those decades The homeless wanderer collecting pebbles the Second World War veteran and the Asian the Land Lay PDF º shopkeeper, fighting to make better lives for their families the Conservative MP with a secret passion, and his drop out sister, vengeful against class privilege the alcoholic intelligence officer betrayed on all sides, not least by his own inadequacy the activists fighting for Scottish Home Rule all have their own tales to tellTracing the intertwined lives of an unforgettable cast of characters, James Robertson s novel is a searching journey into the heart of a country of high hopes and unfulfilled dreams, private compromises and hidden agendas Brilliantly blending the personal and the political, And The Land Stay Still sweeps away the dust and grime of the postwar years to reveal a rich mosaic of th century Scottish life. James Robertson s left leaning politics are similar in many ways to those held by his English counterpart, Jonathan Coe, and so it s no surprise that I saw this mammoth novel as a sort of Scottish counterpart to Coe s Rotters Club Trilogy, not only on terms of scope in terms of scope it covers the period from WW2 to 2008 but also in its abundant cast of characters and obsession with national politics Like Coe s works, I felt that the emphasis on politics in this novel was far too detailed a James Robertson s left leaning politics are similar in many ways to those held by his English counterpart, Jonathan Coe, and so it s no surprise that I saw this mammoth novel as a sort of Scottish counterpart to Coe s Rotters Club Trilogy, not only on terms of scope in terms of scope it covers the period from WW2 to 2008 but also in its abundant cast of characters and obsession with national politics Like Coe s works, I felt that the emphasis on politics in this novel was far too detailed at times, its descriptions of political events taking away from the stories of and relationships shared by its characters But while this resulted in a book that was probably 200 pages too long, the sections that left politics behind were so beautifully, beautifully written that it would be an injustice to take a star away from my final rating It s a tough read, but a rewarding one, and I ll remember it, particularly, for the tears the story brought to my eyes on five or six separate occasions This is a big book and it s complicated The quality of the writing is lovely such pleasurable rolling phrases and paragraphs Such ease and flow, such assured connectedness All this is the mark of a mature novelist, writing in his prime But what a task he has set himself here The tale covers not only several plot lines and groups of characters, it tells the story of a whole country Scotland over five decades In fact, Scotland herself may be the main character although I don t think she is This is a big book and it s complicated The quality of the writing is lovely such pleasurable rolling phrases and paragraphs Such ease and flow, such assured connectedness All this is the mark of a mature novelist, writing in his prime But what a task he has set himself here The tale covers not only several plot lines and groups of characters, it tells the story of a whole country Scotland over five decades In fact, Scotland herself may be the main character although I don t think she is exactly I believe the main character is Jack, the man who goes missing on page 211 and who finally turns up again, in a photograph, on page 666.The novel opens with Michael Pendreich, a photographer trying to impose a bitorder on the archive of his father s work Angus Pendreich is the real artist the father with whom the son can never catch up And in a way, he is also a missing character We only pick up bits of his story from other characters who have known him Angus, too, is a story teller, but his story is visual It is a photographic narrative of Scotland over fifty years or at least that s how his son Michael sees it Meanwhile, the novel itself is James Robertson s attempt to impose a bitorder on half a century of Scottish social and political history, pieced together through the lives of some of its people Narrative within narrative, story within story.The reader, too, follows the various threads, creating a sense of what has really been going on, having faith that the novelist will somehow assemble the plot pieces in the final analysis Which he does Things fall into place which could also be the novel s subtitle Oror less Michael s task, it appears, is to make the connections,of them than he can know or imagine There is a kind of d nouement in the concluding chapter, in which a number of things are made plain, and some things not.But the enduring power of this novel, it seems to me, is that one is left pondering the various elements reviewing where the Stone of Destiny and Margaret Thatcher fitted in, seeing the photograph of Mick McGahy as tragic hero, mentally inhabiting a time when the Ministry of War had only recently turned into the Ministry of Defence I wept at the resolution of Michael Pendreich s own love story I admit it Any novel worth its salt must make the reader tearful at some point It is a tricky thing, though, to combine so many different characters and there was a point where I disengaged slightly This may be because I am a slightly old fashioned novel reader I hanker to identify strongly with one of the situations or characters and in this case I was moved from one to another and I didn t care about them all equally, even when compelling things were happening to them I wanted to get back to Michael Pendreich and the photographs and the difficulty of writing the introduction to his father s work The novel returns to that, in the end, and the end is worth waiting for, but it takes time.On first reading, too, I was uneasy with some of the visual aspects of the book One of the connecting threads is a set of meditations, each of which is an insight into the mind of Jack These are among the most interesting parts of the whole work but italics are hard going, and the second person singularWhen you first set out there were still heavy horses pulling the ploughs but before long they were all but gone was such a strong evocation of Grassic Gibbon that it made me uneasy, although the style is also a necessary marker so strong that it outweighs the necessity for a different typeface Besides we re soon into Michael s attempt to write a preface to his father s collected works another new typeface , and then, mysteriously, in part three the page format changes from fully justified to left justified These visual variations were, to me, a distraction.There is a risk, too, that the social and political background, meticulously etched in as a backdrop to the personal stories, is less appealing to some readers than others The further away it gets, of course, theyou see it as a story , rather than just the recent past Which brings me to the central idea, or what appears to be central, that we should trust the story It s an insight that comes to Michael the man who makes the connections while making a public speech about his father s work Whatever else we put faith in will, in the end, betray us or we will betray it But the story never betrays It twists and turns and sometimes it takes you to terrible places and sometimes it gets lost or appears to abandon you, but if you look hard enough it is still there It goes on The story is the only thing we can really, truly know This is persuasive rhetoric, and it is also the experience of reading this novel But is it true in absolute terms I m not convinced we ever truly know the story, although the ongoing narrative is what keeps the fascination, what holds the necessary sense of inner meaning, even when that meaning is too profound to put into words and too simple it is a supply of pebbles, smoothed by the sea, passed from person to person, each tasted or discarded, or treasured in secret These stones, these symbols, are part of Jack s story They serve to remind us, like Jean Barbour s tales of Jack the adventurer, that James Robertson is also a poet.Jean Barbour, a character I wantedof, occupies the role of story teller several times, and she is the person who first comes out with the watchwords Trust the story Two of her folk stories work their way into the novel First, there s the cautionary tale of the young man who wanted to know what happened at the end of the story an object lesson in why one should have patience Second, there s the story of one of Jack s adventures as in bean stalk the one where he goes to look over the edge of the world, leaving his own soul as security These are wonderful pieces of narration, little fragments of the old tradition, gleaming like jewels in the novel at large They tell a truth, and they tell it beautifully slant Jean Barbour says she has always wanted to tell a story with no beginning, no middle and no end And when pushed by Mike to explain what this story is It s about us, all of us It s the story we re in And the Land Lay Still is the story James Robertson and his contemporary readers are in It s the author s life story, although he doesn t appear in person And yet he is in it, is he not Isn t he omni present, as well as a living witness to the social narrative The novel is a powerful piece of work and a cracking and at times, crackling read Its scope is immense, its authorial control assured Mingling truth and fiction, a time honoured technique, makes the imaginative elements feel curiously true, especially if you were there, as it were If you were not there, you could do worse than read this as an introduction to contemporary Scotland what made us as we are, what continues to shape our future Many of the characters must be recognizable in other civilizations too the idea of nationality as a continually changing concept is transferable to any people and any setting Or you could just read it for the story.So what does happen at the end We don t know yet, because the story hasn t ended, and if it had a beginning, it is too far back to remember All we know is we are connected in one way or another, we make connections Things fall into place, and we call that process a story At least we do when those things have fallen into the hands of a true artist, someone who captivates, entertains and controls, and still trusts the story, rather than his own version of events Which describes James Robertson rather well This audiobook is over 33 hours, and yet I never considered giving it up In the beginning, it wasn t easy keeping track of the cast of characters, but I got to know them This is a portrait of Scotland of the last 5 to 6 decades This was a politically tumultuous time Devolution, Thatcherism, the crushing of the miners the first miners strikes were in Scotland , Scottish Nationalism, and muchIt is probably helpful if readers have some notion of what these issues are were, and a genera This audiobook is over 33 hours, and yet I never considered giving it up In the beginning, it wasn t easy keeping track of the cast of characters, but I got to know them This is a portrait of Scotland of the last 5 to 6 decades This was a politically tumultuous time Devolution, Thatcherism, the crushing of the miners the first miners strikes were in Scotland , Scottish Nationalism, and muchIt is probably helpful if readers have some notion of what these issues are were, and a general outline of Scottish politics The political intrigue was the best part of this epic novel, and considering the stories of MacBeth and Mary Queen of Scots, it is clear that Scottish intrigue rivals and sometimes may even top that of the English.It took me a long time to get through this book because I have not been commuting regularly this month Between bad weather, and a bought of bronchitis, I haven t had as much time to listen However, I had no problem picking it up after a break Highly recommended for those who are interested in contemporary Scotland, the politics and the people, and going way beyond the misty romantic stories with which outsiders stuff their heads To be honest I gave up on this book about half way through I have lived in the times described and found the depiction of real characters and real events somewhat disturbing I went to school with a close relative of the man who actually found the Stone of Destiny in Arbroath Abbey, for example When I resumed, I hit the narrative and found a solid flow which I read and read and read A sleepless night allowed me to make progress and find how some of the characters developed and were brought to To be honest I gave up on this book about half way through I have lived in the times described and found the depiction of real characters and real events somewhat disturbing I went to school with a close relative of the man who actually found the Stone of Destiny in Arbroath Abbey, for example When I resumed, I hit the narrative and found a solid flow which I read and read and read A sleepless night allowed me to make progress and find how some of the characters developed and were brought together I particularly enjoyed the interplay of Scottish politics, not rubbished, but central to the theme I recall mention of some of the shadowy figures and I personally recall hearing another speak.Am I alone in wantingWhere are the pictures I enjoyed mention of the disruption and the setting up of the free church, I too have a copy of the painting discussed Now I have finished, I am likely to start this book and on re reading it will enjoy almost every page. This is the only book I ve ever read which felt like a faithful and sympathetic portrait of the Scotland I live in and grew up in It covers a huge swathe of Scotland s history and geography, and it does so from a fairly clear political point of view I loved it I recommend it to everyone It s long It s not light and fluffy It s probably not for die hard fans of Thatcherism, unless they are prepared to read other points of view But it is an incredibly successful attempt to bring the vital s This is the only book I ve ever read which felt like a faithful and sympathetic portrait of the Scotland I live in and grew up in It covers a huge swathe of Scotland s history and geography, and it does so from a fairly clear political point of view I loved it I recommend it to everyone It s long It s not light and fluffy It s probably not for die hard fans of Thatcherism, unless they are prepared to read other points of view But it is an incredibly successful attempt to bring the vital social, economic and political changes in Scotland in the last 60 years to life with memorable and believable characters I would have given this book 5 stars but the middle section let it down really badly First section was excellent and thoroughly enjoyable Because of this I just had a feeling that struggling through the middle section would be worth it, just to get to the final section True enough, the final section was excellent too But it really was a long hard slog to get through the peter bond section Shame. I fucking did it I have forced my eyes to look at most of the words in this book and what do I have to show for it Granular knowledge of the course of Scottish nationalism in the second half of the twentieth century and the occasional good line of writing So it s not one star but let me be clear I did not enjoy this book. This is epic And so relevant, reminding us that what this generation believe to be new political thinking actually is not Not in the slightest.This is a generational novel, primarily set in Scotland, spanning 60 years It has a large cast of characters, whose individual stories all weave together I personally love these types of narratives, but they can get confusing, remembering who is who, but Robertson doesn t let you get lost I felt so safe with him I knew that if I read on and trusted This is epic And so relevant, reminding us that what this generation believe to be new political thinking actually is not Not in the slightest.This is a generational novel, primarily set in Scotland, spanning 60 years It has a large cast of characters, whose individual stories all weave together I personally love these types of narratives, but they can get confusing, remembering who is who, but Robertson doesn t let you get lost I felt so safe with him I knew that if I read on and trusted him, he would not let me down and he didn t.I loved all the different styles of writing Robertson included It keeps a fresh atmosphere Often lengthy novels suffer from being too long they reach a point where the story starts to drag and you feel the author doesn t know how to end Unfortunately And the Land does suffer from length problems, but not much Yes it could be a tad shorter, but just a tad But I never felt that Robertson had lost his way, and he didn t I really liked the ending The reader has to be in the right temperament to want to read about all the political stuff, of which there is a lot, but politics is a character in it s own right Is it necessary I m still unsure I loved it though, and was immersed in the story There is just so much in this novel to think about It is epic This is a meandering tale that weaves together numerous strands of personal stories with the last fifty years of Scottish history, both political and social The first character we meet, Mike, is a photographer and the son of a famous and rather better photographer, and his story I found interesting He s a fairly passive person, almost seeming to be an outsider in his own life sometimes, and surprisingly mature in his early years When he discovers that he is gay, there is none of the angst o This is a meandering tale that weaves together numerous strands of personal stories with the last fifty years of Scottish history, both political and social The first character we meet, Mike, is a photographer and the son of a famous and rather better photographer, and his story I found interesting He s a fairly passive person, almost seeming to be an outsider in his own life sometimes, and surprisingly mature in his early years When he discovers that he is gay, there is none of the angst or shock or even horror that might be expected in the early seventies He simply accepts it, and expects everyone else to accept it too The minor characters pop up at significant moments is his life, or to underscore the political events of the day, and therefore feel fairly contrived Jean, in particular, seems almost unreal, a semi mystical figure acting as a catalyst both for Mike s personal life such as introducing him to a boyfriend and also in the political spectrum, the focus for debate Everyone seemed to gather around Jean, and her legendary, almost mythical, stories.The second character, Don, is a Mr Everyman, a survivor of the war living a quiet life with his wife, whose sole purpose seems to be to illuminate aspects of the life of Jack, an odd character who survived the Japanese prisoner of war camps physically intact but mentally scarred.Then we get to Peter also Jimmy Bond, Jack s nephew, recruited into the intelligence service to essentially spy on the nationalists Peter isinteresting, perhaps, because we see him at a point in his life where neglectful alcoholism is catching up with him, and he s only barely connected with reality But there s a macabre humour to it when he starts having hallucinations, he s relieved to realise that one of them must be a ghost, and therefore there s no need to politely offer a drink.Then it s on to Ellen, growing up in a mining village in the fifties Every time we switch character, I lose heart This book is long, it s largely about politics which to be fair has some interest, but not at this length, and frankly it s unfocused and rambling Any one part of the book, telling the story of one character in depth, would have made a good book and illuminated a shadowy part of recent history, but trying to do too much makes it feel as though it ought to be a textbook, not a work of fiction I struggled on, as the story threads becameandintertwined, or perhaps tangled is a better word for it All these many characters are somehow mixed up together, in a way that only grandiose fiction can get away with.This is not a bad book Rather, it s over ambitious, and it commits the cardinal sin of an author who s done a great deal of meticulous research he wants to get every last bit of it into the book, every major political event, every well loved TV program or film, every disaster, every social change It almost felt as if he had a checklist and was ticking off events There are at least half a dozen terrific stories in here if the author could have brought his eyes down from the stars and focused instead on just a few of these characters at a time That way, they would have become memorable, fully rounded people instead of mere ciphers, stand ins for this or that aspect of the changing face of Scotland This is non fiction with a thin veneer of rambling storytelling And yes, I get the point about the story never ending, trust the story and all that Still it would have been nice to feel there actually was a proper, novel sized story in here, something with a beginning, a middle and an end, rather than a series of vignettes On the plus side, it s well written and there s some interesting detail about the Scottish political scene which I enjoyed learning about So three stars for effort It s a sign of a good book that you continue to miss the characters after you ve finished the last chapter And that you re sad its all ended, even after the 650th page has been turned.The Land Lay Still is a sweeping history of post war Scotland that educates, excites and agitates the peaks and troughs of the independence movement as seen through the eyes of photographers, journalists, spies, the young, the old, the innocent and the criminal This is a book of personal stories that fit into a It s a sign of a good book that you continue to miss the characters after you ve finished the last chapter And that you re sad its all ended, even after the 650th page has been turned.The Land Lay Still is a sweeping history of post war Scotland that educates, excites and agitates the peaks and troughs of the independence movement as seen through the eyes of photographers, journalists, spies, the young, the old, the innocent and the criminal This is a book of personal stories that fit into a wider narrative of opportunities lost, both for the individuals concerned and Scotland as a whole A fascinating and well researched overview of the key political moments for the country and the impact they have on a personal and historical level Robertson can make you feel the impact of war, the cruelty of Thatcherism and at the same time almost feel sorry for a downfallen Tory Amazingly well structured and thoroughly recommended

And the Land Lay Still MOBI ☆ Land Lay  ePUB
    And the Land Lay Still MOBI ☆ Land Lay ePUB all have their own tales to tellTracing the intertwined lives of an unforgettable cast of characters, James Robertson s novel is a searching journey into the heart of a country of high hopes and unfulfilled dreams, private compromises and hidden agendas Brilliantly blending the personal and the political, And The Land Stay Still sweeps away the dust and grime of the postwar years to reveal a rich mosaic of th century Scottish life. James Robertson s left leaning politics are similar in many ways to those held by his English counterpart, Jonathan Coe, and so it s no surprise that I saw this mammoth novel as a sort of Scottish counterpart to Coe s Rotters Club Trilogy, not only on terms of scope in terms of scope it covers the period from WW2 to 2008 but also in its abundant cast of characters and obsession with national politics Like Coe s works, I felt that the emphasis on politics in this novel was far too detailed a James Robertson s left leaning politics are similar in many ways to those held by his English counterpart, Jonathan Coe, and so it s no surprise that I saw this mammoth novel as a sort of Scottish counterpart to Coe s Rotters Club Trilogy, not only on terms of scope in terms of scope it covers the period from WW2 to 2008 but also in its abundant cast of characters and obsession with national politics Like Coe s works, I felt that the emphasis on politics in this novel was far too detailed at times, its descriptions of political events taking away from the stories of and relationships shared by its characters But while this resulted in a book that was probably 200 pages too long, the sections that left politics behind were so beautifully, beautifully written that it would be an injustice to take a star away from my final rating It s a tough read, but a rewarding one, and I ll remember it, particularly, for the tears the story brought to my eyes on five or six separate occasions This is a big book and it s complicated The quality of the writing is lovely such pleasurable rolling phrases and paragraphs Such ease and flow, such assured connectedness All this is the mark of a mature novelist, writing in his prime But what a task he has set himself here The tale covers not only several plot lines and groups of characters, it tells the story of a whole country Scotland over five decades In fact, Scotland herself may be the main character although I don t think she is This is a big book and it s complicated The quality of the writing is lovely such pleasurable rolling phrases and paragraphs Such ease and flow, such assured connectedness All this is the mark of a mature novelist, writing in his prime But what a task he has set himself here The tale covers not only several plot lines and groups of characters, it tells the story of a whole country Scotland over five decades In fact, Scotland herself may be the main character although I don t think she is exactly I believe the main character is Jack, the man who goes missing on page 211 and who finally turns up again, in a photograph, on page 666.The novel opens with Michael Pendreich, a photographer trying to impose a bitorder on the archive of his father s work Angus Pendreich is the real artist the father with whom the son can never catch up And in a way, he is also a missing character We only pick up bits of his story from other characters who have known him Angus, too, is a story teller, but his story is visual It is a photographic narrative of Scotland over fifty years or at least that s how his son Michael sees it Meanwhile, the novel itself is James Robertson s attempt to impose a bitorder on half a century of Scottish social and political history, pieced together through the lives of some of its people Narrative within narrative, story within story.The reader, too, follows the various threads, creating a sense of what has really been going on, having faith that the novelist will somehow assemble the plot pieces in the final analysis Which he does Things fall into place which could also be the novel s subtitle Oror less Michael s task, it appears, is to make the connections,of them than he can know or imagine There is a kind of d nouement in the concluding chapter, in which a number of things are made plain, and some things not.But the enduring power of this novel, it seems to me, is that one is left pondering the various elements reviewing where the Stone of Destiny and Margaret Thatcher fitted in, seeing the photograph of Mick McGahy as tragic hero, mentally inhabiting a time when the Ministry of War had only recently turned into the Ministry of Defence I wept at the resolution of Michael Pendreich s own love story I admit it Any novel worth its salt must make the reader tearful at some point It is a tricky thing, though, to combine so many different characters and there was a point where I disengaged slightly This may be because I am a slightly old fashioned novel reader I hanker to identify strongly with one of the situations or characters and in this case I was moved from one to another and I didn t care about them all equally, even when compelling things were happening to them I wanted to get back to Michael Pendreich and the photographs and the difficulty of writing the introduction to his father s work The novel returns to that, in the end, and the end is worth waiting for, but it takes time.On first reading, too, I was uneasy with some of the visual aspects of the book One of the connecting threads is a set of meditations, each of which is an insight into the mind of Jack These are among the most interesting parts of the whole work but italics are hard going, and the second person singularWhen you first set out there were still heavy horses pulling the ploughs but before long they were all but gone was such a strong evocation of Grassic Gibbon that it made me uneasy, although the style is also a necessary marker so strong that it outweighs the necessity for a different typeface Besides we re soon into Michael s attempt to write a preface to his father s collected works another new typeface , and then, mysteriously, in part three the page format changes from fully justified to left justified These visual variations were, to me, a distraction.There is a risk, too, that the social and political background, meticulously etched in as a backdrop to the personal stories, is less appealing to some readers than others The further away it gets, of course, theyou see it as a story , rather than just the recent past Which brings me to the central idea, or what appears to be central, that we should trust the story It s an insight that comes to Michael the man who makes the connections while making a public speech about his father s work Whatever else we put faith in will, in the end, betray us or we will betray it But the story never betrays It twists and turns and sometimes it takes you to terrible places and sometimes it gets lost or appears to abandon you, but if you look hard enough it is still there It goes on The story is the only thing we can really, truly know This is persuasive rhetoric, and it is also the experience of reading this novel But is it true in absolute terms I m not convinced we ever truly know the story, although the ongoing narrative is what keeps the fascination, what holds the necessary sense of inner meaning, even when that meaning is too profound to put into words and too simple it is a supply of pebbles, smoothed by the sea, passed from person to person, each tasted or discarded, or treasured in secret These stones, these symbols, are part of Jack s story They serve to remind us, like Jean Barbour s tales of Jack the adventurer, that James Robertson is also a poet.Jean Barbour, a character I wantedof, occupies the role of story teller several times, and she is the person who first comes out with the watchwords Trust the story Two of her folk stories work their way into the novel First, there s the cautionary tale of the young man who wanted to know what happened at the end of the story an object lesson in why one should have patience Second, there s the story of one of Jack s adventures as in bean stalk the one where he goes to look over the edge of the world, leaving his own soul as security These are wonderful pieces of narration, little fragments of the old tradition, gleaming like jewels in the novel at large They tell a truth, and they tell it beautifully slant Jean Barbour says she has always wanted to tell a story with no beginning, no middle and no end And when pushed by Mike to explain what this story is It s about us, all of us It s the story we re in And the Land Lay Still is the story James Robertson and his contemporary readers are in It s the author s life story, although he doesn t appear in person And yet he is in it, is he not Isn t he omni present, as well as a living witness to the social narrative The novel is a powerful piece of work and a cracking and at times, crackling read Its scope is immense, its authorial control assured Mingling truth and fiction, a time honoured technique, makes the imaginative elements feel curiously true, especially if you were there, as it were If you were not there, you could do worse than read this as an introduction to contemporary Scotland what made us as we are, what continues to shape our future Many of the characters must be recognizable in other civilizations too the idea of nationality as a continually changing concept is transferable to any people and any setting Or you could just read it for the story.So what does happen at the end We don t know yet, because the story hasn t ended, and if it had a beginning, it is too far back to remember All we know is we are connected in one way or another, we make connections Things fall into place, and we call that process a story At least we do when those things have fallen into the hands of a true artist, someone who captivates, entertains and controls, and still trusts the story, rather than his own version of events Which describes James Robertson rather well This audiobook is over 33 hours, and yet I never considered giving it up In the beginning, it wasn t easy keeping track of the cast of characters, but I got to know them This is a portrait of Scotland of the last 5 to 6 decades This was a politically tumultuous time Devolution, Thatcherism, the crushing of the miners the first miners strikes were in Scotland , Scottish Nationalism, and muchIt is probably helpful if readers have some notion of what these issues are were, and a genera This audiobook is over 33 hours, and yet I never considered giving it up In the beginning, it wasn t easy keeping track of the cast of characters, but I got to know them This is a portrait of Scotland of the last 5 to 6 decades This was a politically tumultuous time Devolution, Thatcherism, the crushing of the miners the first miners strikes were in Scotland , Scottish Nationalism, and muchIt is probably helpful if readers have some notion of what these issues are were, and a general outline of Scottish politics The political intrigue was the best part of this epic novel, and considering the stories of MacBeth and Mary Queen of Scots, it is clear that Scottish intrigue rivals and sometimes may even top that of the English.It took me a long time to get through this book because I have not been commuting regularly this month Between bad weather, and a bought of bronchitis, I haven t had as much time to listen However, I had no problem picking it up after a break Highly recommended for those who are interested in contemporary Scotland, the politics and the people, and going way beyond the misty romantic stories with which outsiders stuff their heads To be honest I gave up on this book about half way through I have lived in the times described and found the depiction of real characters and real events somewhat disturbing I went to school with a close relative of the man who actually found the Stone of Destiny in Arbroath Abbey, for example When I resumed, I hit the narrative and found a solid flow which I read and read and read A sleepless night allowed me to make progress and find how some of the characters developed and were brought to To be honest I gave up on this book about half way through I have lived in the times described and found the depiction of real characters and real events somewhat disturbing I went to school with a close relative of the man who actually found the Stone of Destiny in Arbroath Abbey, for example When I resumed, I hit the narrative and found a solid flow which I read and read and read A sleepless night allowed me to make progress and find how some of the characters developed and were brought together I particularly enjoyed the interplay of Scottish politics, not rubbished, but central to the theme I recall mention of some of the shadowy figures and I personally recall hearing another speak.Am I alone in wantingWhere are the pictures I enjoyed mention of the disruption and the setting up of the free church, I too have a copy of the painting discussed Now I have finished, I am likely to start this book and on re reading it will enjoy almost every page. This is the only book I ve ever read which felt like a faithful and sympathetic portrait of the Scotland I live in and grew up in It covers a huge swathe of Scotland s history and geography, and it does so from a fairly clear political point of view I loved it I recommend it to everyone It s long It s not light and fluffy It s probably not for die hard fans of Thatcherism, unless they are prepared to read other points of view But it is an incredibly successful attempt to bring the vital s This is the only book I ve ever read which felt like a faithful and sympathetic portrait of the Scotland I live in and grew up in It covers a huge swathe of Scotland s history and geography, and it does so from a fairly clear political point of view I loved it I recommend it to everyone It s long It s not light and fluffy It s probably not for die hard fans of Thatcherism, unless they are prepared to read other points of view But it is an incredibly successful attempt to bring the vital social, economic and political changes in Scotland in the last 60 years to life with memorable and believable characters I would have given this book 5 stars but the middle section let it down really badly First section was excellent and thoroughly enjoyable Because of this I just had a feeling that struggling through the middle section would be worth it, just to get to the final section True enough, the final section was excellent too But it really was a long hard slog to get through the peter bond section Shame. I fucking did it I have forced my eyes to look at most of the words in this book and what do I have to show for it Granular knowledge of the course of Scottish nationalism in the second half of the twentieth century and the occasional good line of writing So it s not one star but let me be clear I did not enjoy this book. This is epic And so relevant, reminding us that what this generation believe to be new political thinking actually is not Not in the slightest.This is a generational novel, primarily set in Scotland, spanning 60 years It has a large cast of characters, whose individual stories all weave together I personally love these types of narratives, but they can get confusing, remembering who is who, but Robertson doesn t let you get lost I felt so safe with him I knew that if I read on and trusted This is epic And so relevant, reminding us that what this generation believe to be new political thinking actually is not Not in the slightest.This is a generational novel, primarily set in Scotland, spanning 60 years It has a large cast of characters, whose individual stories all weave together I personally love these types of narratives, but they can get confusing, remembering who is who, but Robertson doesn t let you get lost I felt so safe with him I knew that if I read on and trusted him, he would not let me down and he didn t.I loved all the different styles of writing Robertson included It keeps a fresh atmosphere Often lengthy novels suffer from being too long they reach a point where the story starts to drag and you feel the author doesn t know how to end Unfortunately And the Land does suffer from length problems, but not much Yes it could be a tad shorter, but just a tad But I never felt that Robertson had lost his way, and he didn t I really liked the ending The reader has to be in the right temperament to want to read about all the political stuff, of which there is a lot, but politics is a character in it s own right Is it necessary I m still unsure I loved it though, and was immersed in the story There is just so much in this novel to think about It is epic This is a meandering tale that weaves together numerous strands of personal stories with the last fifty years of Scottish history, both political and social The first character we meet, Mike, is a photographer and the son of a famous and rather better photographer, and his story I found interesting He s a fairly passive person, almost seeming to be an outsider in his own life sometimes, and surprisingly mature in his early years When he discovers that he is gay, there is none of the angst o This is a meandering tale that weaves together numerous strands of personal stories with the last fifty years of Scottish history, both political and social The first character we meet, Mike, is a photographer and the son of a famous and rather better photographer, and his story I found interesting He s a fairly passive person, almost seeming to be an outsider in his own life sometimes, and surprisingly mature in his early years When he discovers that he is gay, there is none of the angst or shock or even horror that might be expected in the early seventies He simply accepts it, and expects everyone else to accept it too The minor characters pop up at significant moments is his life, or to underscore the political events of the day, and therefore feel fairly contrived Jean, in particular, seems almost unreal, a semi mystical figure acting as a catalyst both for Mike s personal life such as introducing him to a boyfriend and also in the political spectrum, the focus for debate Everyone seemed to gather around Jean, and her legendary, almost mythical, stories.The second character, Don, is a Mr Everyman, a survivor of the war living a quiet life with his wife, whose sole purpose seems to be to illuminate aspects of the life of Jack, an odd character who survived the Japanese prisoner of war camps physically intact but mentally scarred.Then we get to Peter also Jimmy Bond, Jack s nephew, recruited into the intelligence service to essentially spy on the nationalists Peter isinteresting, perhaps, because we see him at a point in his life where neglectful alcoholism is catching up with him, and he s only barely connected with reality But there s a macabre humour to it when he starts having hallucinations, he s relieved to realise that one of them must be a ghost, and therefore there s no need to politely offer a drink.Then it s on to Ellen, growing up in a mining village in the fifties Every time we switch character, I lose heart This book is long, it s largely about politics which to be fair has some interest, but not at this length, and frankly it s unfocused and rambling Any one part of the book, telling the story of one character in depth, would have made a good book and illuminated a shadowy part of recent history, but trying to do too much makes it feel as though it ought to be a textbook, not a work of fiction I struggled on, as the story threads becameandintertwined, or perhaps tangled is a better word for it All these many characters are somehow mixed up together, in a way that only grandiose fiction can get away with.This is not a bad book Rather, it s over ambitious, and it commits the cardinal sin of an author who s done a great deal of meticulous research he wants to get every last bit of it into the book, every major political event, every well loved TV program or film, every disaster, every social change It almost felt as if he had a checklist and was ticking off events There are at least half a dozen terrific stories in here if the author could have brought his eyes down from the stars and focused instead on just a few of these characters at a time That way, they would have become memorable, fully rounded people instead of mere ciphers, stand ins for this or that aspect of the changing face of Scotland This is non fiction with a thin veneer of rambling storytelling And yes, I get the point about the story never ending, trust the story and all that Still it would have been nice to feel there actually was a proper, novel sized story in here, something with a beginning, a middle and an end, rather than a series of vignettes On the plus side, it s well written and there s some interesting detail about the Scottish political scene which I enjoyed learning about So three stars for effort It s a sign of a good book that you continue to miss the characters after you ve finished the last chapter And that you re sad its all ended, even after the 650th page has been turned.The Land Lay Still is a sweeping history of post war Scotland that educates, excites and agitates the peaks and troughs of the independence movement as seen through the eyes of photographers, journalists, spies, the young, the old, the innocent and the criminal This is a book of personal stories that fit into a It s a sign of a good book that you continue to miss the characters after you ve finished the last chapter And that you re sad its all ended, even after the 650th page has been turned.The Land Lay Still is a sweeping history of post war Scotland that educates, excites and agitates the peaks and troughs of the independence movement as seen through the eyes of photographers, journalists, spies, the young, the old, the innocent and the criminal This is a book of personal stories that fit into a wider narrative of opportunities lost, both for the individuals concerned and Scotland as a whole A fascinating and well researched overview of the key political moments for the country and the impact they have on a personal and historical level Robertson can make you feel the impact of war, the cruelty of Thatcherism and at the same time almost feel sorry for a downfallen Tory Amazingly well structured and thoroughly recommended "/>
  • Hardcover
  • 673 pages
  • And the Land Lay Still
  • James Robertson
  • English
  • 14 March 2017
  • 024114356X