Stargazing: Memoirs of a Young Lighthouse Keeper

Front Cover
Canongate U.S., 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 275 pages
In this reminiscence of the pleasures of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd course life takes, Peter Hill writes, "In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolour. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country."
Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to the seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they shared and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer that Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kenno82 - LibraryThing

While Hill's stint as a trainee lighthouse keeper was a short one, he managed to keep me entertained with the cast of characters he met and shared his duties with. The book reads like an extended ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nandadevi - LibraryThing

The author slips back in time to memories of his service as a temporary lighthouse keeper in Scotland in the 1970's. Like Stephen King, his reflections and writing sample popular culture from those ... Read full review

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