ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: July 31, 2005
Beside the Ocean of Time
By (author) George Mackay Brown
Thorfinn Ragnarson is the daydreaming son of a tenant farmer, avoiding both work and school despite the best efforts of family, friends and neighbours. Instead, the boy dreams up elaborate historical fantasies. In a series of intriguing chapters, George Mackay Brown transforms Thorfinn into a Viking traveller, a freedom-fighter for Bonnie Prince Charlie and the colleague of a Falstaffian knight who participates in the Battle of Bannockburn. He is then hurled into the future as Thor, who returns to the Orkneys as an adult and recalls his internment in a German POW camp, where he discovered his writing skills. Thor also reflects on the history of Orkney, the links between dreaming and writing and the whims of fate. In this beautiful and haunting novel, Brown’s lyrical descriptions and gift for local colour capture, as ever, the myth-drenched magic of his native islands.
George Mackay Brown
George Mackay Brown is one of the major Scottish literary figures of the twentieth century. A prolific poet and novelist, he took much of his inspiration from the myths and landscape of Orkney, and also from his deep Catholic faith. His collection of short stories A Time to Keep (1971) won the Katherine Mansfield Mentor short story prize and his novel Beside the Ocean of Time was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994. He died in 1996.