A Book of Death and Fish : Ian Stephen (author) : : Blackwell'sIan Stephen is a diligent artist, poet, storyteller and photographer, whose compositional eye is as tuned to fine detail as it is to the overall shape of the finished thing. His earliest poems were published in Denmark and Australia, aswim like the watery world they portrayed in the borderless currents of the imagination. In Providence II he proved his talents as a colourist in photographs of fish bled onto the page with tales of their inescapable fate — the fate we all share. Death occurs early in A Book of Death and Fish, which is divided into two parts. Peter MacAuley, its narrator, now in the doldrums of middle age, dredges up his sharp memories in shoals, darting, glinting, evasive, poignant, recalling the sudden deaths of his grandparents — couples resident on the east or west coast of Scotland where the herring fashioned the fortunes of the people, on land or at sea. This is not, of course, true to the nature of time at all, but by confounding its dislocation, Stephen brings a contained concentration and intensity to his chapters that is mesmerizing and true in a deeper way.
The book of death for dummies - Teaser 2
A Book of Death and Fish
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Ian Stephen Author. Peter MacAulay sits down to write his will.? The process sets in motion a compulsive series of reflections: a history of his own lifetime and a subjective account of how key events in the post-war world filter through to his home, Stornoway. It will, I suspect, be one of those books I will not put down all my days. Read more. Stephen brings a contained concentration and intensity to his chapters that is mesmerizing and true in a deeper way
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Many books are enjoyable to read, but pretty much instantly forgettable. The act of reading them may be - and often is - entertaining, but they leave little behind in the way of lasting memories. You can think of them as the literary equivalents of a nice pub lunch. Well made, nice ingredients, and good service, and something you will probably want to repeat. But will you feel compelled to go out and tell people about the experience? Probably not. At one level it a novel is formed from a series of anecdotes, recollections and reflections about the life of one man, Peter MacAulay.
W hat kind of a novel is this? There is no story as such, no theme or plot to be developed and extended. None of the chapters is more than two or three pages, so although the book is long, it is easy to read; and the prose is swift and clean, cut back to the extent that meaning is obscured. This is from the opening lines:. My arrival gave the olman and the olaid the points they needed to get their first council house. They already had a healthy daughter but one child was not enough to get up the list. They had to escape the brush.