The Three Perils of Man is regarded as Hogg's most ambitious work of fiction. The book's extraordinary combination of the fantastic, the funny, the serious and the historically realistic must be unique in literature.
The adventures of its characters, told with the author's characteristically bold simplicity, are many, mad, and breathtakingly fast. Ranging from Galloway to Northumberland, the main focus of the book is to be found in the Scottish Borders. Hogg knew and loved the Borders well, and the book is full of their oral tradition and local lore. In his attempt to synthesise this material with history, romance and the high literary ideals of his time, Hogg's nearest modern parallels would be a combination of Tolkien and Iain Banks.
Hogg's fusion of traditional folklore and innovative style was viewed as an anachronism by his contemporaries, and it is only now that his work is recognised s one of the most original and masterly in the Scottish canon.