Robert Alan Jamieson - Da Happie Laand (4 stars)

Robert Alan Jamieson - Da Happie Laand


We imagine Robert Alan Jamieson spent a lot of noggin-aching days and nights trying to work out how to match what he accomplished with A Day at the Office, the 1991 novel regarded by many as one of the greatest Scottish works of all time. But the Edinburgh-based author makes a superb stab at it with his latest offering which combines a compelling modern mystery with 500 years of history in a typically experimental style that leaves many of his contemporaries lagging.

Da Happie Laand is far from easy to digest, and wading through its pages of correspondence, ‘Vikipedia’ facts, crossed-out paragraphs and creole language interviews can at times be an overwhelming experience, but by weaving in a poignant first person account of one man’s search for his missing father, Jamieson achieves something quite extraordinary. And it’s the sheer scope of his writing and what it achieves for his native Shetland that leaves the biggest impression here.

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