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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Ring of Bright Water (Classic, Nature, Penguin) Paperback – October 6, 1987

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Classic, Nature, Penguin
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 6, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140249729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140249729
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,503,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has been a favorite of mine for years. Maxwell exceeds at conveying deep personal emotion, and this book is suffused with the joy he felt during his first few years with his otters Mij and Edal.
Fans of this book should take pains to search for the two out-of-print sequels: "The Rocks Remain" and "Raven, Seek Thy Brother". Neither is as joyful or cohesive as "Ring", but you will indeed find out what the life of a reclusive-yet-famous nature writer can be like. I also highly recommend Maxwell's autobiography of his childhood, "The House of Elrig".
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Format: Paperback
Gavin Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water is a much-deserved classic. It tells the tale of the author's time on the coast of Scotland devoting the first half to his learning to live in this isolated paradise and the second half, slightly better, to his time consecutively with two otters (as well as other creatures, my favourite being the geese). As anyone who loves animals will know, tears will factor into this tale, but never at the expense of the joy and laughter. They are some very funny bits. It would almost be enough to get me to exhange my cats for otters (almost, but not quite enough). Some of the writing is a litte florid at times, particulary the brief section on killer whales, but, otherwise, this is an astounding and beautiful example of nature writing.
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Format: Paperback
Maxwell's "Ring of Bright Water" is not a book about otters alone. It is the story of a man living near the Hebridies and taking up the life of a naturalist. He describes the sea and the land with equal relish. Those who read "Ring of Bright Water" for the otters alone may miss the haunting atmosphere of northern Scotland, and, having been there for some time, I can say that Maxwell recalls it rather well. As for the otters, they are endearing and facinating. However, as someone involved in animal handling and educational programs, I strongly urge the reader not to desire to have such an exotic pet. If one truly loves the wilds that Maxwell lovingly details, one would not subject a wild animal to such stresses, or introduce a non-native predator to such a rich and rare place.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Forever after you read A Ring of Bright Water, the beauty, wonder, and humor of this book will gently surface with a ring of bright ripples in the waters of you mind. I am never able to remember this book without simultaneously wanting to laugh and to cry-and always with a sense of awed wonder. This is the true story of Gavin's befriending of otters (or perhaps we should say of the otters' decision to befriend Gavin.) In one scene, on the first night Gavin has one of the otters in his home, the otter carefully watches Gavin get into bed and pull the covers to his chin. The otter then crawls in beside Gavin, lies on its back, and pulls the covers to its own chin. Other scenes describe Gavin's losing efforts to make certain parts of his cottage off limits to otters. Gavin never for the rest of his life produced prose that so translucently coveys the beauty of the waters around his cottage, or the sense of his own evolving life and emotions. Reading this book is giving a gift to yourself. It is one a dozen that I always look for used to give to friends.
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Format: Paperback
In Ring of Bright Water, a man discovers to his delight the endearing, playful, and intelligent nature of otters.
The first third of the book traces his introduction to Camusfearna, an invented name for a real place on the Scottish coast. This part of the book drags a little if you're waiting impatiently to get to the otters, but there are some shining spots in which Maxwell describes life where the green hills and cascading falls meet a wind-swept sea; for instance, he describes in welcome detail how incomputable numbers of elvers (eels) struggle mightily up the burn (river) and falls near his remote country home, the eels facing stalwartly a long, difficult battle coming at the end of unending miles of swimming through hunted waters.
The rest of the book brings a smile, because it recounts Maxwell's introduction to the antics and fascinating viewpoint of otters, whom he finds are "extremely bad at doing nothing . . . (being) either asleep or entirely absorbed at play". The pages where the unprepared author learns just how raucous, intelligent, joyous, persistent, and dextrous otters can be, especially in situations requiring the author and his slithery new companion to be inconspicuous, are alone well worth the price of the book. This book should be on the reading list of any pet lover, especially those who love ferrets. There are a few places where we are sobered and saddened by the fragility of our loved ones in the face of unexpected danger. This book begs the question of whether it is correct to domesticate more wild animals, but does not address the question signficantly.
The book seems a little incomplete in that it ends by the author simply ceasing to tell the story, which leaves one with a feeling of lack of resolution. One might like to know how the second half of Edal's life went, but then one might have to read of her end, and it might be better to end with the images of her playing good naturedly on the sofa by the fireplace.
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By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Despite being a book written 40 years ago, the delightful stories are perfect to read over and over. If you only know it as 'the book about the pet otter', it also has dozens of other little vingettes in it. Marvelous, a classic!
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