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A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘A work of extraordinary ambition, brilliantly realised’ OBSERVER
‘A mesmerising journey down the byways of English folklore’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Verbally dextrous, inventive, and hugely entertaining’ THE TIMES
Herne the hunter, mischief-maker, spirit of the forest, leader of the wild hunt, hurtles through the centuries pursued by his creator.
A shapeshifter, Herne dons many guises as he slips and ripples through time – at candlelit Twelfth Night revels, at the spectacular burning of the Crystal Palace, at an acid-laced Sixties party. Wherever he goes, transgression, debauch and enchantment always follow in his wake.
But as the forest is increasingly encroached upon by urban sprawl and gentrification, and the world slides into crisis, Herne must find a way to survive – or exact his revenge.
With its intoxicating, chameleonic voice and boundless imagination, Mischief Acts is British folklore as you’ve never read it before: dangerous, sexy, troubling, daring, savage, an exhilarating race through time and space, weaving together the ancient and the contemporary.
‘A dark-dazzling archive of enchantments, pursuit, and desire’ ELEY WILLIAMS
‘This is the most adventurous, stylistically magnificent thing I’ve read for years. Nobody does fantasy like Zoe Gilbert’ NATASHA PULLEY
‘Mischief Acts is brimming with magic … The story of Herne, like the forest itself, transforms, entangles and enchants’ LUCY WOOD
‘A dazzling new take on an ancient myth, reminding us of the wildness within. I adored it’ KERRY ANDREW
‘Superb. A work of shimmering allure’ IRENOSEN OKOJIE
Mischief Acts is a deeply lyrical, century-spanning polyphony of voices; a dazzling new take on an ancient myth, reminding us of the wildness within. I adored it. — KERRY ANDREW Superb. A work of shimmering allure. By turns beguiling and mercurial, Gilbert takes British folklore to new heights — IRENOSEN OKOJIE Praise for Folk: ‘An extraordinary debut novel … It feels both ancient – drawing on deep seams of myth and folklore – and strikingly contemporary, pushing at the edges of what we mean when we call a book a novel. In Folk, Zoe Gilbert has made a thing of strange and enduring beauty — ALEX PRESTON * FINANCIAL TIMES * Folk is a special book: immersive and dripping with life, each story a spell, an allegory, a dark, smoky poem divined from the landscape of our ancient kingdom … It reads like a dream that, once visited, is difficult to leave behind — BEN MYERS * GUARDIAN * Genuinely original, disturbing, beautiful and gripping … Folk can be read as a map of the British mythic imagination: of the river under the river. Starkly original and expertly written, it draws you, like a faerie song, into a kingdom from which you may never escape, and may not want to * NEW STATESMAN * Dazzling and unsettling, much like the best and darkest of fairy tales * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * A dark, often discomforting debut … Gilbert’s sensuous prose conjures fantastical figures including a man born with a wing for an arm, and a girl who’s abducted by a water bull … Bewitching * MAIL ON SUNDAY, BEST NEW FICTION * Folk is absolutely stunning. I loved it. With gorgeous, incantatory prose, it submerges you in a mysterious and utterly compelling world. Its illumination lingers long after you close the book — MADELINE MILLER I was thoroughly absorbed. Zoe Gilbert’s invented folk-world is sensuous and dangerous and thick with magic — TESSA HADLEY That rare thing: genuinely unique. It’s part-myth, part-allegory, wholly wonderful * OBSERVER, BOOKS OF THE YEAR * A captivating mythical, magical and haunting debut which draws on fascinating folklore * I PAPER *
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