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Mr B's review
Lost in the landscape and lyrical language of this book, the lead up to a breathtaking ending had me losing sense of time and place. In Yorkshire, Elmet, a family lives an isolated but happy life. Having built their home in a copse they consider their own, tensions build when the community question their right to continue this lifestyle. A look at how one person can hold both violence and a gentle nature within, and how this affects those they love.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017 AND THE PFD/SUNDAY TIMES YOUNG WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD
WINNER OF A SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD AND THE POLARI PRIZE
‘A quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable’ The Economist
‘A cleverly constructed rural Gothic fable . . . Elmet is a marvellous achievement’ TLS
‘Pastoral idyll, political expose, cosy family saga and horror tale, it reads like a traditional children’s story that turns into a gangster film: Hansel and Gretel meets The Godfather’ Sunday Times
Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned menacing and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them in the woods with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted.
Cathy was more like their father: fierce and full of simmering anger. Daniel was more like their mother: gentle and kind. Sometimes, their father disappeared, and would return with a rage in his eyes. But when he was at home, he was at peace. He told them that the little copse in Elmet was theirs alone. But that wasn’t true. Local men, greedy and watchful, began to circle like vultures. All the while, the terrible violence in Daddy grew.
Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Elmet is a compelling portrayal of a family living on the fringes of contemporary society, as well as a gripping exploration of the disturbing actions people are capable of when pushed to their limits.
With subtle colloquial dialogue and vibrant descriptive passages, this is an evocative read, which deserves attention * Sunday Independent * A novel that straddles the centuries, simultaneously modern and backward-looking, Hardeyesque yet fully engaged with contemporary politics * Literary Review * A cleverly constructed rural Gothic fable written in palatably simple prose . . . Elmet is a marvellous achievement * TLS * At its best, it reminds you of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road * Metro * Rhythmic and lilting . . . a rich and earthy tale * Financial Times * Elmet, with its rugged landscape, violence and high emotion, recalls Wuthering Heights written with a wholly new voice. This debut is the start of something big * Stylist * An impressive slice of contemporary noir steeped in Yorkshire legend . . . Elmet possesses a rich and unfussy lyricism * Guardian * Mozley is a gifted writer . . . Pastoral idyll, political expose, cosy family saga and horror tale, it reads like a traditional children’s story that turns into a gangster film: Hansel and Gretel meets The Godfather * Sunday Times * A work of troubling beauty . . . Brutal, bleak, ethereal * New Statesman * Elmet is in so many ways a wonder to behold. It is also this year’s David among the predictable Goliaths on the Booker list. How thrilling if David were to win against them * Evening Standard * A quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable * The Economist *
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