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Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper

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9781841956510: Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper
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In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasure of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolour. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country. Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style.

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Review:

"What makes Stargazing such a beautiful book is that it is more than an elegy to a vanished profession. It is an elegy to youth and to the constellation of dreams, ambitions and anxieties that is more intense at nineteen than it can ever be again."

From the Back Cover:

"A generous book ... as full of lost dreams as a starry sky on a foggy night" Daily Telegraph

It is 1973 and Peter Hill, his head filled with the Vietnam War, Frank Zappa, Jack Kerouac, the Watergate trial and Coronation Street, is about to spend six months on various remote Scottish lighthouses, "keeping" with all manner of unusual and fascinating people.

This charming and beautifully written account of that time is not only a heartfelt lament for Hill's own youth and innocence but also for a simpler and more honest age.

"Poetic and evocative ... What makes Stargazing such a beautiful book is that it is more than an elegy to a vanished profession. It is an elegy to youth and to the constellation of dreams, ambitions and anxieties that is more intense at 19 than it can ever be again" Sunday Herald

"A gentle comedy of manners, which pitches the green-around-the-gills Hill - an adolescent idealist - into the intrinsically no- nonsense, manly world of the lighthouse" Independent

As read on bbc radio 4

Cover photograph: Courtesy of Photonica
Cover design: Ghost

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781841954998: Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper

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ISBN 10: 1841954993 ISBN 13: 9781841954998
Publisher: Canongate Books, 2004
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9781740512473: STARGAZING Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasure of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolour. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country. Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style. Seller Inventory # INJ9781841956510

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasure of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolour. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country. Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style. Seller Inventory # INJ9781841956510

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