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Iain Coleman


I re-read "Brond" by Frederic Lindsay today for the first time in many, many years. It had been in my mind to re-read it for a while, but I lost my copy long ago and it's sadly out of print. Even the TV adaptation, which I remember being excellent, is completely unavailable in any format, legal or otherwise. But I haunt the Mitchell Library on alternate Saturdays, while the lovely Jo Jo is at the Queen's Park farmers' market, and it turns out they have a copy locked away in a back room.

It was amazing. A short novel (about 60,000 words by my estimation) and a quick read (2.5 hours), but dense, dark and layered, with resonances that linger long after the book is closed. I had to go for a wander round the library for a while after I'd finished it, just to process the intense experience of the novel.

And yet, outwith our marvellous public libraries, it's almost impossible to get hold of this stunning story. It's a tragedy. You want a great Scottish novel? This is it.
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