This is a fantastic novel which I re-read recently. It's a bildungsroman covering the career of a Scots soldier turned film-maker in the first half of the twentieth century. It's incredibly evocative and the span of the novel is awe-inspiring. Very satisfying in the same way that Citizen Kane is satisfying.
There is a literary thread running through this novel in that the protagonist is obsessed by Rousseau's Confessions. I admit I did not quite appreciate the significance of this and I suppose I need to read Rousseau next.