Brian Jay Corrigan's The Poet of Loch Ness

I have re-discovered the library. I went to the library frequently as a child, but when I graduated from college, it became important for me to create one of my own, which meant I had to spend more time in bookstores. Buying books, though, is incredibly expensive and sometimes disappointing. Usually, I am very good about choosing a book off the shelf, but sometimes there’s a really huge miss, and I end up paying $14.00 for the most boring, poorly written book in the world. I decided to try the books out at the library, a fairly low-risk financial option, and if I liked the book, I would purchase it for my Red Room Library.

The Poet of Loch Ness by Brian Jay Corrigan is on my list to purchase from Barnes and Noble. I found this book at the Woodruff Library at Emory. It’s not PerkinsJ, but it will have to do for my university library fix because Durham is just too far away.

A socially awkward, tone-deaf biology professor and his beautiful young wife travel to Loch Ness to search for the Loch Ness monster. Professor Perry Miggs says that he is working for the Royal Geographical Society, and Perdita Miggs (I really detest this name choice) comes along. She meets Andrew Macgruer, a poet, whom she knew when she was a student at St. Andrews. They have a past. Perry’s pursuit of the monster becomes a metaphor for the pursuit of other lost or hidden things. The story investigates the search for and realities of real, everyday love versus dreams of love. The heartbreaking beauty of wild Scotland creates a poignant backdrop to these musings.

Corrigan’s story starts off slowly. The language is beautiful in fits and starts. He seems to be finding his stride. He has a great story that’s coming, I can tell, but he’s too focused on what’s coming later and not on what comes first. Some of the imagery is awkward and jarring. For example, the Miggs pack up their house “like nuts.” The reference being to squirrels not crazy people, but I was caught up here.

By the end though, Corrigan has found his voice and his stride, and the last one hundred pages are beautiful and packed with insight. The ending is shocking, but the three main characters all realize what love is, and the result is satisfying for me. Nessie makes an appearance in the final chapter, too, which, considering the conclusion, is poetic justice.


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