The house was extraordinarily peaceful as if by an act of will I had banished all the fertile ghosts. It had an unearthly calm as if I were floating on a dumb sea of solitude. I found myself humming to myself as if I had come to the silence of myself. I went to the bookcase and took out a book and began to read. Strangely enough I didn't realise at first what book it was. Then I saw that it was the Bible. I turned to the New Testament and began to read, 'In the beginning was the Word...' - The Hermit ALTHOUGH BEST KNOWN as one of Scotland's greatest modern poets, Iain Crichton Smith was also prolific as a writer of short stories. These pieces form a central part of his oeuvre, demonstrating the full range and versatility of his literary talent. From humour to tragedy, from inner monologues to extrovert surrealism, the diversity of his writing indicates the extraordinary range of his own reading and mental world. Crichton Smith wrote short stories throughout his life. Some are fragments, others almost novellas, and the best of them all show him to be an author of unique sensitivity and intelligence. These two collections, comprising the complete English stories, include over 45 stories never before published in book form, as well as others that have been out of print for many years, thus making it possible to judge Crichton Smith's achievement as a writer in full. Incorporates stories from The Hermit, Murdo, Mr Trill in Hades and Selected Stories.
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