‘This was the terrifying mystery, why creatures he loved should kill one another. He had been told that all over the world in the war now being fought men, women and children were being slaughtered in thousands; cities were being burnt down . . .’
In the shadow of a war that rages through Europe, brothers Calum and Neil work to gather pine cones in the grounds of a Scottish estate. When Calum releases two mutilated rabbits from a snare, he comes face to face with Duror, the gamekeeper. In retaliation, in the depths of the wood, Duror lays a trap for the cone-gatherers.
Neil prophesises that forces of evil will encroach upon the harmony of their lives. It is a prophesy that comes true when Duror commits an act so brutal it destroys all sense of humanity in the once thriving wood. Powerful and unforgettable, Robin Jenkins’s The Cone-Gatherers is a haunting story of love and violence, and an investigation of class-conflict, war and envy.
‘Let me alert everyone to the best-kept secret in modern British literature. If you love the novel; if you are interested in books that are humane and wise, not slick and cynical; then treat yourself this year to some Robin Jenkins.’ Andrew Marr
‘Few novels in our heritage have the bell-like harmonies of this book . . . it has a strange haunting poetic quality, conjuring from a few props a fable of eternal significance.’ Iain Crichton Smith
An Unexpected Gift
I’m continually amazed by how many remarkable writers can pass you by, even when you think you read a lot. My friend had sent me a copy of The Cone-Gatherers (1955) by Robin Jenkins. I’d never...Read more