“One of the most important Scottish writers of the twentieth century”
‘Times Literary Supplement’
“Modern Scottish fiction reaches its highest peak in the novels of Neil M. Gunn… Like Hardy, and indeed Joyce… he transcends regionalism and acquires universality.”
When the sheer intensities of family life become too much for eight-year-old Art, it is to Old Hector that he turns for comfort. Thwarted from fulfilling his burning desire to go to the River, he seeks out the old man who can still poach a salmon with the best when he chooses. Through Old Hector’s tales and his own experiences, Young Art gradually learns about the painful business of growing up.
Young Art and Old Hector shows Neil Gunn’s artistry at its very best; above all, his genius for clothing a simple story of Caithness crofter-fishermen in the rich garb of myth. It is also one of the finest evocations of childhood ever written, conveying all the magic and misery and the bursting joys of being a small boy in the great and mysterious world.