Hungry Generation

Hungry Generation

by David Gilmour

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A moody, distraught Scottish laird and his wife, a leftist hippie from Brooklyn, are as unhappy a couple as they are unlikely in this powerful novel laced with lilting prose and the wild beauty of the Scottish countryside. Hugh Gordon, who inherits his family's ramshackle estate from his eccentric scholar father, is too idealistic and too haunted by childhood demons to run things effectively. His wife Ellen, a doctrinaire Marxist, is unmasked as smug and self-righteous when Hugh confronts her with the discovery that his presumed son is actually the product of her casual liaison with a Portuguese communist. Hugh's own love affair with his cousin Clarissa runs into trouble when her jealous husband, his best friend, goes on a drunken rampage. Though Ellen spouts political rhetoric, Hugh is more politically perceptive as he rails at a ``complacent and useless'' gentry, ``middle-class youths playing at revolution'' and the shortcomings of both capitalism and communism. Gilmour, a historian and biographer of Lampedusa, has crafted a digressive story rich in symbolism. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This first novel by a British historian focuses on Hugh Gordon, heir to Starne, a huge Scottish estate teetering on the brink of insolvency. The estate's history during the 20th century becomes clear as narrator Gordon mingles flashbacks of his youth and young manhood in the Sixties and Seventies with events from the present. Starne's decline began with Gordon's father, who resigned his seat in Parliament over the Suez crisis and spent the rest of his life as a bitter classical scholar in pursuit of obscure topics. At Oxford, Gordon drifted into the counterculture and eventually married an American Communist he met there. After his father's death, Gordon attempts to salvage Starne, but his own heir turns out to be the son of another man; and Gordon's passionate but doomed affair with a beautiful cousin leaves him as bitter as his father. This fast-paced, understated parable about the decline of British aristocracy is highly recommended where good fiction is appreciated.-- A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham

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