“This was the terrifying mystery, why creatures he loved should kill one another. He had been told that all over the world in the war now being fought men, women and children were being slaughtered in thousands; cities were being burnt down”
In the shadow of a war that rages through Europe, brothers Calum and Neil work to gather pine cones in the grounds of a Scottish estate. When Calum releases two mutilated rabbits from a snare, he comes face to face with Duror, the gamekeeper. In retaliation, in the depths of the wood, Duror lays a trap for the cone-gatherers.
Under a bright blue sky, Neil prophesises that forces of evil will encroach upon the harmony of their lives. It is a prophecy that comes true when Duror commits an act so brutal it destroys all sense of humanity in the once thriving wood.
Powerful and unforgettable, The Cone-Gatherers is a novel about the good and the bad in human nature - and of our propensity for both.
“Let me alert everyone to the best-kept secret in modern British literature. If you love the novel; if you are interested in books that are humane and wise, not slick and cynical; then treat yourself this year to some Robin Jenkins”
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“Like all great masters, his skill is lightly worn, his sentences singing with what he does not say”
“A masterpiece of concision and terrible pathos”
“Few novels in our heritage have the bell-like harmonies of this book … it has a strange haunting poetic quality, conjuring from a few props a fable of eternal significance”
Iain Crichton Smith
Robin Jenkins, OBE., was born in 1912. The author of more than thirty works of fiction, he received the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award in 2002 for an outstanding contribution to Scottish life and in 2003 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saltire Society. Jenkins was hailed as ‘the greatest living fiction-writer in Scotland’ (Scotsman) before he died in 2005.