Allan Mclean, who has limited himself in the past to children's books and ""entertainments"", has come up with a distinguished first novel about a boy's coming of age on a croft in Scotland. Neill, the boy, struggles for his manhood against the imposing figure of his brother, , possessor of all the manly virtues. He is first made pathetically aware of his own inadequacy upon fleeing from the death stare of a beloved uncle, but he absolves himself as he ""takes over"" after the death of his mother -- takes over as Ruairidh had been unable to do. Campbell writes with the highlander's color, tempered by a Scotsman's about male , about the Games, anti-Catholicism, the acceptance of death by a people so close to life. The American reader will undoubtedly have need of a dictionary perhaps to get through some of the peculiarly Scottish terms employed. But well worth the trouble. A too infrequently illumined land is Scotland and McLean rights this wrong most competently.