This novel--Scottish author Gunn's last--was written in 1954. Walter Urquhart, the narrator of the story, is a young anthropologist who has traveled to the western Highlands of Scotland at the request of a friend in publishing. The friend had received a strangely haunting manuscript in the mail and wanted Urquhart to investigate its origin. Urquhart stays in a small hotel filled with Englishmen who wrangle and clash with the locals who serve as their guides. He meets Douglas Menzies, a reclusive musician whose wife has died in childbirth and who is the author of the manuscript. The plot has promise and one senses that great themes are being explored, but the writing is so convoluted and obscure that the novel becomes almost impossible to read. Not recommended--even for die-hard Anglophiles.-- Janet Boyarin Blundell, M.L.S., Brookdale Community Coll., Lincroft, N . J .