Pete (pjc50) wrote,

And The Land Lay Still

I've been reading "And The Land Lay Still" on the bus, since I had it recommended as the definitive novel of Scottish nationalism. It's a substantial piece of work, certainly. It has a structure I recognize from science fiction novels, in that the characters exist to give life and motion to a world and a history, but the worldbuilding is the core point of the novel. It just happens to be a real place this time, and has not been done at the expense of warmth and humanity.

It also reminds me of the Tapestry of Scotland, in that it's an attempt to thread disparate history together for presentation to the public as a coherent whole from a series of vignettes. The author is excellent at evocative writing of place and time, although he occasionally leans on the fast-forward button and reels off a list of historical events flying by as we move forward a few years. He writes his Scotland into existence.
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