Sunday, 13 January 2008

But n Ben a Go Go by Matthew Fitt

This was a strange book for me to read. It's a SF novel written entirely in Scots dialect - I don't generally read SF and I don't speak Scots! Nevertheless I enjoyed this story, set in 2090 Scotland which has been mostly flooded due to climate change, with ordinary Scots and refugee Danes living in floating city communities, while only the Highlands are still above ground, inhabited by the very rich; mutant wild animals (Kelpies) and rebel American tourists. Its a very inventive novel, it has to be commended for grappling with ideas about where climate change and other contemporary issues could lead. I enjoyed the linguistic playfulness of the novel, a mix of standard lowland and highland Scots with some invented futuristic Scots words. I'm not sure how much of an audience there is for a book like this though, outside of Scotland and the very north of England.

4 comments:

ana said...

I doubt I'd ever pick up a book "but n ben a go go", but since it comes so highly recommended I'll make sure I look it up the next time I find myself in a bookstore...

Brian said...

I like wrestling with regional books on occasion. It's a good change of pace.

Catherine said...

I doubt this would be an easy book to find in New Zealand, since I don't have much spare money for online ordering at the moment. but it sounds interesting. I find it hard to believe in a Scotland that is largely flooded, though, as it seemed too hilly for that when I was there. I can imagine a strait forming across the middle, from the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde, though. And a much bigger loch in place of Loch Ness.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Catherine - I'm with you on the not believing in a flooded Scotland! There were various things that didn't quite work in the book but it is an interesting read...

Brian - I agree!

Ana - hope you find it, if you do, hope you enjoy it!