A Scots Quair PDF ¼ A Scots PDF/EPUB or


  • Paperback
  • 697 pages
  • A Scots Quair
  • Lewis Grassic Gibbon
  • English
  • 09 July 2019
  • 0862415322

10 thoughts on “A Scots Quair

  1. Warwick Warwick says:

    A long, powerful, moving, and ultimately pitiless account of that generation in Scotland who lived if they were lucky through the First World War and saw the rural lives of the crofters swallowed up by a new urban society The first book of the trilogy is the most astonishing all the pleasures of a Bildungsroman combined with a very rich and involving portrait of life in a Scottish farming village where we get to know and care about almost every inhabitant The coming of age element is the m A long, powerful, moving, and ultimately pitiless account of that generation in Scotland who lived if they were lucky through the First World War and saw the rural lives of the crofters swallowed up by a new urban society The first book of the trilogy is the most astonishing all the pleasures of a Bildungsroman combined with a very rich and involving portrait of life in a Scottish farming village where we get to know and care about almost every inhabitant The coming of age element is theremarkable because of how brilliantly Gibbon seems able to understand his female protagonist Chris Guthrie is completely convincing Even the many cool, introspective, observational scenes of her alone which in less skilful hands could easily have seemed voyeuristic have an air of genuine sympathy and truth to them.But she saw herself then in her long green skirt, long under the knee, and her hair wound in its great fair plaits about her head, and her high cheek bones that caught the light and her mouth that was well enough, her figure was better still and she knew for one wild passing moment herself both frightened and sorry she should be a woman, she d never dream things again, she d live them, the days of dreaming were by and maybe they had been the best.The language the novel is told in seemed so surprising to me at first that for a long time it simply didn t remind me of anyone The narrative voice is a synthetic kind of Scottish English, in which the cadences and vocabulary of Scots are constantly bubbling under the surface Often the English words only make sense if you take them to be codewords standing in for their Scots cognates, such as the way brave is used to represent the Scots word braw At other times, especially in the dazzling opening sections of the book, there is a generous larding of terms that may have some readers south of the border, or overseas, grinning in bewilderment if, like me, you enjoy that sort of thing Ellison had begun to think himself a gey man in Kinraddie, and maybe one of the gentry But the bothy billies, the ploughmen and the orra men of the Mains, they d never a care for gentry except to mock them and on the eve of Ellison s wedding they took him as he was going into his house and took off his breeks and tarred his dowp and the soles of his feet and at the term time he had them sacked, the whole jing bang of them, so sore affronted had he been.The result is a language that despite its being a kind of construction of Gibbon s struck me as utterly authentic I believe everything he says It also allows for some subtle effects in the later books as the narrative voice becomesfragmented and less idiosyncratically Scottish What s , that inherent textual tension between Englishness and Scottishness reflects a key point of the book that Chris herself is constantly torn between what she thinks of as her Scottish self, who loves the land and its people, and her English self, who wants to get away from there and learn to speak properly This is a false dichotomy many in Scotland may recognise even today two Chrises there were that fought for her heart and tormented her You hated the land and the coarse speak of the folk and learning was brave and fine one day and the next you d waken with the peewits crying across the hills, deep and deep, crying in the heart of you and the smell of the earth in your face, almost you d cry for that, the beauty of it and the sweetness of the Scottish land and skies.You can see here the interesting narrative technique of switching to the second person, which happens frequently throughout all the books a you that is sometimes Chris, sometimes a vague townsperson, always drawing the reader deep inside the emotions of the novel Here s another example, from Cloud Howe, during a virtuoso depiction of a town f te.The teas were all finished and Melvin had opened up one of the tents for the selling of drams, folk took a bit dander up to the counter, had a dram, and spoke of the Show and looked out at the board, the gloaming was green on the hills, purple on the acre wide blow of heather There was a little wind coming down, blowing in the hot, red faces of the dancers, you finished up your dram and felt fair kittled up and went out and made for the board like a hare, damn t you might be old, but you still could dance, you hoped the mistress had already gone home.You might already detect the dominant tone creeping in under these passages bittersweet, nostalgic, somewhat disillusioned This mood darkens across the trilogy into something you could eventually fairly call bleak But in the first book, when Chris is still young, the bleakness is just a part of Scotland s beauty and it s perfectly evoked with many accomplished descriptive passages it came on Chris how strange was the sadness of Scotland s singing, made for the sadness of the land and the sky in dark autumn evenings, the crying of men and women of the land who had seen their lives and loves sink away in the years, things wept for beside the sheep buchts, remembered at night and in twilight The gladness and kindness had passed, lived and forgotten, it was Scotland of the mist and rain and the crying sea that made the songs And Chae cried Let s have another dance, then, it s nearly a quarter to twelve, we must all be off soon as midnight chaps.There are parts of Sunset Song that had me almost open mouthed with admiration, long passages which can t be quoted because their power comes from a cumulative brilliance, pages and pages which left me scribbling uncharacteristically superlative notes in my paperback WOW how did he do this Is there ANYTHING to match thisand so on The wedding scene was one such another was the eventual story of what happened to Ewan in France It s also often very funny much funnier than I ve made it sound in this review.It s a little unfair in some ways that the second and third books in the trilogy have been overshadowed by the first They are sadder, and the scope is less focused, but in their own way I thought they were equally fascinating and well done More to the point, Sunset Song depends for its power on the fact that we are reading about the last throes of a particular way of life, and it s essential to Gibbon s project that he sees that through and describes exactly what comes after To me, the first book is strong precisely because it is followed by books which detail Chris s move to a town and then a city, so that we feel the nostalgia for her country upbringing just as she does Similarly, the urban interplay and Socialist parables of the last book only work because they come after such a naturalistic evocation of traditional Scottish country life Cloud Howe and Grey Granite are increasingly political, and some reviewers have even criticised Gibbon for being somehow taken in by Socialism, but I don t recognise that at all Sure, the writing shows a deep sympathy with the workers as it damn well should but there is no sentimentality here Socialism, like religion, is dismissed as just another ideology, and if this trilogy is anything, it s unideological The overriding message is rather that nothing at all is certain except change that nothing, including love, but also including pain, can last forever, and that this is life s greatest sadness as well as its greatest comfort.But it s certainly true that while you can deeply admire books two and three, it s only the first one that you fall in love with As you near the end of the three novels, you are desperately hoping that Gibbon will throw you something to hang on to at the finish, some hint of the cool kindness he talks about elsewhere But you know he s too good to be kind at the expense of authenticity The very end of Chris s story is like Scotland itself bleak but not cruel, sad and beautiful I m pretty sure this trilogy is a masterpiece Jan 2013


  2. Leonie Leonie says:

    Something I really liked about this trilogy is the way each book builds on the last They re all related and the last two books do things they couldn t do if it hadn t been for the last book, but they re all different The big theme of the trilogy is, on a personal level, gaining experience and what it does to you, and,generally, the inevitability of change Sunset Song, the first novel, is a bildungsroman, really Chris Guthrie is the teenage daughter of a crofter in 1911 Scotland She s Something I really liked about this trilogy is the way each book builds on the last They re all related and the last two books do things they couldn t do if it hadn t been for the last book, but they re all different The big theme of the trilogy is, on a personal level, gaining experience and what it does to you, and,generally, the inevitability of change Sunset Song, the first novel, is a bildungsroman, really Chris Guthrie is the teenage daughter of a crofter in 1911 Scotland She s torn between identifying as the English Chris, who finds reality in the pages of books and wants to be a teacher and as the Scottish Chris whose self is always, inescapably, tied up with the land A big theme of the trilogy is how ephemeral people are compared to the land, which almost negates time In this first book characters occasionally catch glimpses of figures from another time In later books there s a character that s into archaeology, which speaks of the same need to find the people who are gone in the landscape which is shared with those living Chris becomes a sexual being, gets married and has a baby Then WWI happens It s nothing much at first, but it changes everything forever This book is the seeing out of a way of life Chris s experiences here are synthesise the archetypal and the personal I felt it was one of those books that has been done many times but, not least because it was written before it had been done so often, almost fools you into feeling like it s a first time Which is how that archetypal personal experience thing should work The writing style reminded me of Esther Waters by George Moore, though only in the sense that that novel seemed poised between the Victorians and modernism This has that same sense of new suffusing the old, and of something preparing to take flight and change into something else People seem to like this first book the best It has the most joy and lyricism and sense of timelessness, and the war, though it destroys what the book is about, gives it a good sense of narrative It has an ending.The other two books are about what happens after the end They expand outwards from the small community of Kinraddie where Sunset Song is set In Cloud Howe Chris marries again and moves to Segget, a larger community Her husband is the minister and this is a difficult position for both him and Chris, as it places them a little outside their class and community Robert is an idealist, where Chris is a realist, though her realism is not everyone s There is a sense of desperate need for positive change in this book The central paradox of the trilogy is that this is seen as a doomed mission but one it is vital to embark on Or at least, Chris s husband and son find it so Chris is the real grown up of the trilogy, able to face reality without placebos like religion and politics This could be a bit of a tiresome stereotype, shutting women out from the important things while, as consolation prize, suggesting that they re themature for this exclusion Chris isn t a boring grown up to theinteresting men, though We enter into both mindsets but Chris is the centre This book is where I decided that I loved the trilogy, because Gibbon is committed He wants a solution but he doesn t pretend there is one The biggest flaw in the trilogy is the presentation of the political ignorance and callousness of the majority It s too two dimensional In another book it would be a big problem for me but it s surrounded by enough that s real.In Grey Granite Gibbon moves Chris and her son Ewan to a city and really goes for the political stuff Ewan is not unlikeable but chillingly distant from everyday emotional concerns When he becomes a Communist it s a way of becoming human for him, in a way, as he finally identifies as one of everyone else, but we soon see that he s just as distant as ever really The flaws of social reform and political ideals are clear here With Ewan s quest for justice and equality we have a sense of passion for something even he knows is hopeless His politics are, apparently, the author s, but one doesn t feel these can have provided Gibbon with much consolation Chris has lost her ability to invest in anyone romantically, to feel really close to anyone To experience others is important but ultimately one is alone In a way her life is over in this book, but in another way it s about how life goes on even when your life is over There is no real end.I think this is a book you have to be willing to commit to despite its flaws Otherwise it would probably seem torrid But I felt like the author committed to it and that meant a lot This trilogy creates an impressive sense of progressive experience that comes from that commitment


  3. Suzie Suzie says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Already read Sunset Song, probably going to give it a quick reread then tackle the rest.Excellent Just excellent Review to follow.EDIT now I can t remember any of the great stuff I had to say about this book, goddamnit Essentially, I think this is the best female character I have ever seen written in a book, and it was written by a man What that should tell you I don t know Too often I feel women are written in broad brush strokes, farso than men they re either decidedly within the Already read Sunset Song, probably going to give it a quick reread then tackle the rest.Excellent Just excellent Review to follow.EDIT now I can t remember any of the great stuff I had to say about this book, goddamnit Essentially, I think this is the best female character I have ever seen written in a book, and it was written by a man What that should tell you I don t know Too often I feel women are written in broad brush strokes, farso than men they re either decidedly within the traditional feminine stereotype, or an over the top caricature of what is seen as being opposite from feminine It s late, my words are not of the good kind Chris Guthrie is realistic she is warm and kind and eminently sensible and rational, and sometimes cool, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes weak, but she is ALWAYS real.I also love the language I m Scottish, and in some ways it feels completely alien to me That s part of what I find beautiful about it The texture of the book, its root in the land, as it were, is sometimes a little hard to swallow, but for the most part it s a good anchor to keep the story feeling cohesive, given the dramatic changes that take place between Sunset Song and Cloud Howe, and Cloud Howe and Grey Granite.Sunset song is by far the best of the three novels It has the best characters and provided the only actual tearing up moment for me the deaths of Chae Strachan and Long Rob of the Mill, plus OH GOD EUAN SR BREAK MY HEART YOU GIT The secondary characters are so rich that you are really absorbed by the world of Blaewearie Cloud Howe was equally easily my least favourite book the secondary characters were pretty much universally unlikeable, and while I know that was the point, I missed having someone to root for as it were Dalziel of the Meiklebogs was absolutely excellently slimey, but I missed having someone like Long Rob to temper things Grey Granite is wonderful solely for Euan Jr s character development and the awesome woman who owned the guest house with Chris and whose name I have completely forgotten, sigh Anyway, nothing endures, as well we know, but thank god this book has, at least for a while I beg every Scottish person I know to read it if they want an understanding of what has happened to their country over the last hundred years, and I beg every feminist I know to read it, because this is an important portrayal of a woman s life.I want to sayabout this, but I can t It s a bit the opposite of my PopCo review I actively stopped myself from rambling in it but I could have gone for absolute days about what is, ultimately, though a very good book, not anywhere near the level of this ASQ is one of those rare six star books where PopCo means something right now, ASQ will still mean something in fifty years, or a hundred years I think if I break this down book by book then it might make things easier.Sunset Song The most important, and beautiful, thing about Sunset Song is the character crafting The setting is, inevitably, important, given the background of the struggle between agricultural survival against industrialisation, and, as I said earlier, the rooting of the book in the land Chris s constant return to the standing stones, particularly at times of distress, is obviously not accidental, and is used to structure the whole book The structure is maybe the only thing I could nitpick with, to be honest eight shorter chapters in place of the four longer ones would maybe have worked better, but I am REALLY nitpicking I tend to prefer shorter chapters anyway, so it s maybe just that a preference ANYWAY, the characterisation Oh good lord, I was so on the side of these I m going to finish this in the morning or next week, I have to sleep now or I may faint


  4. George Hebenton George Hebenton says:

    I ve read the trilogy three times I think rather appropriately , seen the stage play, listened to a musical setting of it in Glasgow Cathedral, seen the BBC version of it from the 1970s now available on dvd at last hallelujah I guess that constitutes me being a fan of the book What s the attraction The humour, the dialect, the evocation of the time and place, before the Great War changed the pace of life forever The first couple of times I tried to read the book, the first part of Sunse I ve read the trilogy three times I think rather appropriately , seen the stage play, listened to a musical setting of it in Glasgow Cathedral, seen the BBC version of it from the 1970s now available on dvd at last hallelujah I guess that constitutes me being a fan of the book What s the attraction The humour, the dialect, the evocation of the time and place, before the Great War changed the pace of life forever The first couple of times I tried to read the book, the first part of Sunset Song bogged me down a little, with the history of the area, etc but persevere if you find if hard going, it s ultimately a very rewarding trilogy, A Scots Quair is truly a Scots classic P.S I d recommend his short stories too, especially Smeddum


  5. Don Don says:

    Beautiful but often abstruse story of the Chris Guthrie, born into a crofting family around the turn of the last century and living her life up to the the mid century, through a period which saw the end of the small farming way of life and the rise of political radicalism amongst the subaltern classes.Grassic realname James Leslie Mitchell tells the story through an almost impressionistic lens, where the landscape of the Mearns area of East Scotland evokes the moods which dominate ther lifes o Beautiful but often abstruse story of the Chris Guthrie, born into a crofting family around the turn of the last century and living her life up to the the mid century, through a period which saw the end of the small farming way of life and the rise of political radicalism amongst the subaltern classes.Grassic realname James Leslie Mitchell tells the story through an almost impressionistic lens, where the landscape of the Mearns area of East Scotland evokes the moods which dominate ther lifes of the main characters in Chris s life Many of the descriptive passages are heartbreakingly beautiful, with images of race clouds across hills, the sense of the storms building up over the North Sea a few miles to the east and weather systems that range across snow and sodden rain storms, and brief periods of idylic summer.This tale of the life of a girl caught up in the drama of her life in the villages, but sensing that there is a world beyond it to which she was also connected The trilogy sees Chris grow from a child to her adolescent years in a family dominated by a moody, unfathomable father and a mother wracked by fears from his expectations that she would produce an unlimited number of children for him Ewan Tavendale arrives on the scene as her first love and their marriage produces anothe Ewan, their son The Greart War emerges as the background for strains in the relationship, with Chris being left on her own with her noticeable introverted young son,The second novel is dominated by Chris s marriage to the Rev Robert Colquohoun and their lives together in the small industrial town of Segget Chris and Robert live through the turbulent years of the 1920s, siding with the rural proletariat as it struggled to form unions and change its conditions of life The failure of the General Strike breaks Roberts faith in reformist socialism and, being a man who needs faith, also breaks his heart On their own again, Chris and Ewan move to the town of Duncairn where she runs a boarding house in partnership with another woman Ewan s absorption in books and history is transferred to his apprenticeship in an engineering plant By a convoluted route, and despite his lack of synmpathy with real people, he is drawn into radical socialists politics and plays a role as a strike leader.Chris meanwhile continues to meet adversity and the death of her business partner obliges her to enter into yet another marriage on her part loveless to keep her boarding house business Ewan shows himself to have much of the taciturn, even cruel streak of Chris s father, being drawn to a vision of communism cynically realistic about the working class, but seeing it as an agent of abstract historical progress towards an ultimate great destiny Calluous in all his relationships, his mother also falls from his outlook on life as he leads hunger marches down to a London which will absorb his energies as a communist organiser.Chris s fate is to end her days back in the Mearns, where she was born and grew to adulthood, irrevocably alone but emotionally numbed beyond the point of suffering As she fades towards her own end back in the beauty of the Scottish countryside, the feeling is that we have heard a sad story of the end of a Scottish way of life, told from the standpoint of a great life, but ultimately lost in successive waves of bitter disappointment


  6. Jill Jill says:

    Dealing with the death of the Scottish crofter society, A Scots Quair is composed of three parts Sunset Song, Cloud Howe, and Grey Granite Sunset Song introduces Chris Gutherie, a daughter of crofters, as she moves to the Mearns, meets the love of her life, starts out her married life on the croft, to see it all change with the beginning of the First World War The story continues in the second book as Chris leaves the croft to move into a local village with her second husband and the young so Dealing with the death of the Scottish crofter society, A Scots Quair is composed of three parts Sunset Song, Cloud Howe, and Grey Granite Sunset Song introduces Chris Gutherie, a daughter of crofters, as she moves to the Mearns, meets the love of her life, starts out her married life on the croft, to see it all change with the beginning of the First World War The story continues in the second book as Chris leaves the croft to move into a local village with her second husband and the young son of her first marriage However, the changes brought to rural Scotland continue to mark the lives of villagers In the third book, Grey Granite, Chris and her son have moved to the city, a dis spirited, unforgiving hole Here they confront the final changes in 1930 s era Scotland as industrialization and communist idealism collide I have loved these books for years and go back to them to read and read regularly


  7. Gregor Buchanan Gregor Buchanan says:

    Probably the most influential book I have ever read This trilogy has such a sweeping emotional and philosophical trajectory that is at once tragic and celebratoryit has since dominated my conscious mind and emotional self immediately after I read the natural and deeply honest text The narrative will be difficult for those not used to hearing the Scots dialect from the north east of Scotland but I would implore a new reader to persevere as the story held within these pages is both universal Probably the most influential book I have ever read This trilogy has such a sweeping emotional and philosophical trajectory that is at once tragic and celebratoryit has since dominated my conscious mind and emotional self immediately after I read the natural and deeply honest text The narrative will be difficult for those not used to hearing the Scots dialect from the north east of Scotland but I would implore a new reader to persevere as the story held within these pages is both universal and very Scottish, a novel written with the whole world in view but from a Scottish perspective If you should read any story please try and read the warm intellectual mind concerned with the direction of human civilization


  8. Marianne Marianne says:

    This is a fabulous trilogy, and I think would resonate with readers of Willa Cather plains bleak Scottish fields I adored this book as a teenager.


  9. Fiona Fiona says:

    I read this in 6th year of high school and it has stayed with me ever since It s one of the most beautifully written, moving books I have ever read.


  10. Ruth Ruth says:

    Grassic Gibbon s prose is lyrical His eye for detail in description, whether in landscape or in characters thoughts, is remarkable.


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A Scots Quair➶ [Read] ➲ A Scots Quair By Lewis Grassic Gibbon ➾ – Thomashillier.co.uk A Scots Quair is revolutionary innovative in its form, deft and humorous in its use of the Scots language, courageous in its characterization and politics Central to the trilogy is Chris Guthrie, one A Scots Quair is revolutionary innovative in its form, deft and humorous in its use of the Scots language, courageous in its characterization and politics Central to the trilogy is Chris Guthrie, one of the most remarkable female characters in modern literature In Sunset Song, Gibbon s finest achievement, the reader follows Chris through her girlhood in a tight knit Scottish farming community the seasons, the weddings, the funerals, the grind of work, the gossip As the Great War takes its toll, machines replace the old way of life Cloud Howe and Grey Granite take Chris from her A Scots PDF/EPUB or rural homeland to life in an industrial Scotland and the desperate years of the Depression The trilogy as a whole is a major achievement, a picture of a society undergoing traumatic and far reaching transformation Always readable, never sentimental, A Scots Quair is one of the most important works of modern Scottish literature.