A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides by Samuel Johnson
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Two buds go for a romp in the Highlands of Scotland.
In A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland... we get a glimpse of the bromance between dictionary man Samuel Johnson and lawyer James Boswell as they hike through the hills and lochs down to the isles along the west coast. Boswell, a Scot, plays host to Johnson, showing him the sights, which are nicely described, as well as introducing him to some of the more colorful characters of the area.
This is fairly light reading with a touch of airy philosophizing now and then. Johnson's sometimes jovial, sometimes truculent nature comes in for some good-natured ribbing. He was a larger-than-life character with some strong opinions. It's great to get this candid look at the man, someone who I've been intrigued with since I saw him played by Robbie Coltrane in the Brit comedy Black Adder. Whenever he's portrayed, it's as a blustery big man with even bigger, louder ideas. He's a liver of life, and since so much of his life was spent working with words, a bookworm like myself can't help but love him.
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