THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR by The Prince of Wales


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The jacket flap tells us that Prince Charles wrote this story eleven years ago to amuse his younger brothers on a voyage. Like many similarly conceived projects, it consists largely of whimsical asides, strung together in a sequence of comings and goings that could not be called events. First, an old man who lives in a cave falls into Loch Lochnagar, and goes hunting underwater with ""the Scottish fresh water version of Neptune."" (""You see he could breathe underwater because he had amphibian nostrils and webbed eyebrows."") Next the old man sneezes himself, rocket-style, to the top of Lochnagar mountain, where a grunting eagle (grunting because ""this particular eagle was a pig-eagle"") takes him for a ride. A frog takes him home. Later, he is carried by ""twelve huge cock capercaillie"" to Loch Muick, where two ospreys catch trout for him. He drinks a shrinking formula and visits the cairn home of the tiny neighboring people called Gorms. (""That is why people living in Scotland who don't have Gorms on their hills are called 'gormless.' "") Then he boards a train for London but ends up back home in his cave, where he enjoys his ingenious bagpipe-powered 'loo. The deft line and watercolor illustrations rate a droller tale. This one should have been reserved for the family--though that 'loo is a cunning affair.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1981
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux