Electric Brae: A Modern Romance

Andrew Greig, Author Canongate Books $12.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-86241-404-7
Although it gets off to a slow start, Scottish poet Greig's first novel will strike a chord with baby-boomers as it explores tangled, often tortured relationships against the backdrop of the death of idealism in the 1980s. Narrator Jimmy Renilson, a 30ish engineer who works on an offshore oil platform in the North Sea, has two passions: mountain climbing and tempestuous artist Kim Russell. With Jimmy's pal Graeme, also a climber, and Graeme's bisexual girlfriend Lesley, they form a quartet that tests the boundaries of love and friendship. Greig relates their personal and political struggles through a series of flashbacks, creating a bittersweet mood and leavening the symbol-laden text with irony. His characterizations are honest and complex; the dialogue comes alive through his sparing, pungent use of Scots dialect. Already acclaimed for two nonfiction works about Himalayan expeditions, Greig ( Summit Fever ) will win new admirers with this probing tale of contemporary Scotland, into which he has woven the age-old themes of love, death and madness. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-86241-740-6
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-571-21285-9
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