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The Ring Of Bright Water Trilogy (Ring of Bright Water #1-3)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  183 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Fifty years ago Gavin Maxwell went to live in an abandoned house on a shingle beach on the west coast of Scotland. A haven for wildlife - he named his home Camusfearna and settled there with the otters Mij, Edal and Teko.

Ring of Bright Water chronicles Gavin Maxwell's first ten years with the otters and touched the hearts of readers the world over, brilliantly evoking life
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 26th 2001 by Penguin (first published April 27th 2000)
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Ah, this is difficult. I had never heard of Ring of Bright Water, nor seen the film and it wasn't until I read Miriam Darlington's excellent Otter Country last year that it came onto my radar.

I was a little disappointed to discover that this collection heavily edited all 3 books. However, after reading it makes sense, condensing the story and provides some focus. It makes it hard for me to objectively rate Ring of Bright Water though, not knowing what has been cut.

I can understand why it was so
Mar 24, 2008 Wm rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature, animals
I saw the movie as a child and was traumatized. I came across the book last year, and could not put it down. It is odd. It is idiosyncratic. It is very Scottish. Everyone should read this book.
Rosamund Noll
Aug 06, 2013 Rosamund Noll rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
I saw the movie “Ring of Bright Water” when I was a kid. (No, I am NOT saying how long ago that was.) I enjoyed it – after all, what kid wouldn't like a story about a playful otter! But, I didn't love it – probably because of the ending.

Now, X years later, I finally read the book that was the basis for the movie – and the two follow-ups that contributed to it, as well. And, X years later, I once again say “I enjoyed it. BUT, I didn't love it.” The book – books, as it is an abridgement of all 3 b
Jan 04, 2014 Mona rated it really liked it
I first read Ring of Bright Water in high school, as a Reader's Digest Condensed Book. Then I came upon the trilogy (I had not known until recently that there were two other books).

It is British naturalist Gavin Maxwell's memoir of life at his beloved home Camusfearna, shared with the otters that made it famous. His style of writing is from an earlier generation, full of long rhapsodic sentences describing his environment. When he writes about his otters it is with charm, and later, with the kee
Nov 29, 2016 Jon rated it it was ok
I first read this book (and the two sequels) many years ago, and enjoyed them, although the ending of the trilogy became a little bleak. Not too long ago I happened upon an account of Maxwell's later life and death, which prompted further research. As a result I now consider these books, well-written and seemingly charming, as, by their omissions, little more than a pack of lies, produced by a monstrous ego. Feet of clay, eh.
Andy Ritchie
Mar 28, 2013 Andy Ritchie rated it it was amazing
Amusing, bizarre, tragic, heart-warming...
I could go on and on with the adjectives to describe this trilogy of books.
The whole saga is simply an extraordinary tale of what many would view as an obsession undertaken in the most beautiful yet basic of environments.
Maxwell himself, and the characters that come into and out of the pages (human and non-human) are brought vividly to life through their triumphs and through their failings.
Quite brilliant.
Feb 04, 2009 Kathy rated it really liked it
If you want to take a trip to the area of the Herbredes Islands of western Scotland and experience vicariously what it is like to live with an otter, realizing quickly that you'd never do it for real, then this is the book for you. Beautiful nature writing in this autobiographical look at an eccentric but interesting man.
Jul 14, 2012 Oscar rated it it was amazing

"The Ring of Bright Water" is by far the best book that I have ever read, and the trilogy is the best series that I have ever read! I would recommend this book to everyone, six stars! I recommend that you don't watch the film first though, because it's not great and may put you off the book. Or, it might make the book seem better. Anyway, read this book!
Mar 02, 2014 John rated it really liked it
The story is wonderful although I found it a little tedious at times. The imagery is excellent, the tale a bit sad at times, but the issue with this version is that it is highly edited and incomplete. I need to search for an older copy.
Robert Davidson
Mar 27, 2011 Robert Davidson rated it really liked it
I found the prose to be some of the most descriptive I have ever read despite the book being an account of one disaster after another. It was certainly not an uplifting or optimistic work. Nevertheless, it fully deserved the acclaim it achieved shortly after publication.
Stephen Barker
Oct 10, 2015 Stephen Barker rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Amazing really how much changes over fifty-odd years... Attitudes to wildlife were clearly on the cusp of change when this was written.I'm sure that there was sincerity in what now might seem misguided attempts at domestication of animals. I enjoyed the writing and have gone for 4 stars.
Mar 08, 2015 Mairead rated it liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed the first and third books - middle one a little weak. Love the amusement of the otters in the first one and the honesty of the writing throughout. Maxwell's mental instability comes through more and more as the books progress. Would read more of his again.
Holly Weiss
Apr 07, 2010 Holly Weiss rated it really liked it
Shelves: scotland
The Scottish Highlands. Maxwell's home, Camusfaera, is no longer there, but the spirit of the highlands lives on!
Bryan Pope
Jan 05, 2016 Bryan Pope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If you want heartwarming, stop after the first book. If you want haunting and devastating, read the entire trilogy.
Jun 08, 2013 Debdolittle rated it really liked it
Beautifully descriptive.
Jan 21, 2009 Mel rated it really liked it
Great tale of a life with river otters as companions. Lots of trials and tribulations associated with caring for wild animals...certainly not the fluffy image I had in mind before I read the book.
Sep 06, 2013 Aileen added it
Shelves: abandoned
Ian Tonkin
Ian Tonkin rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2016
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Jan 08, 2013
Luke rated it it was amazing
Nov 19, 2011
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Gasco Joan rated it really liked it
May 05, 2017
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Jul 04, 2016
Casey Bottono
Casey Bottono rated it it was amazing
Oct 04, 2008
Rob Dennis
Rob Dennis rated it really liked it
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Jamie rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2014
Nick Elliott
Nick Elliott rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2014
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Donna Parker rated it liked it
May 14, 2012
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Gavin Maxwell was a Scottish naturalist and author, best known for his work with otters. He was born in Scotland in 1914 to Lieutenant-Colonel Aymer Maxwell and Lady Mary Percy, whose father was the seventh Duke of Northumberland. He was raised in the small village of Elrig, near Port William, which he later described in his autobiography The House of Elrig (1965).

After serving in the Second World
More about Gavin Maxwell...

Other Books in the Series

Ring of Bright Water (3 books)
  • Ring of Bright Water (Ring of Bright Water, #1)
  • The Rocks Remain
  • Raven, Seek Thy Brother (Ring of Bright Water, #3)

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