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Elmet
Cover of Elmet
Elmet
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Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone to school. But they were not like the other children then, and they were even less like them now. Sometimes Daddy 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. Atmospheric and unsettling, Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary society and one family's precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.
Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone to school. But they were not like the other children then, and they were even less like them now. Sometimes Daddy 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. Atmospheric and unsettling, Elmet is a lyrical commentary on contemporary society and one family's precarious place in it, as well as an exploration of how deep the bond between father and child can go.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 6, 2017
    Mozley’s debut, shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, is a rugged, potent work whose concentrated mixture of lyricism and violence recalls Cormac McCarthy. A taciturn giant of a man, a bare-knuckle fighter who is the “fastest and toughest... in Britain and Ireland,” builds a house for himself and his two children in the Yorkshire woods, where “the soil was alive with ruptured stories that cascaded and rotted then found form once more and pushed up through.” In this secluded spot, he attempts to strengthen his two children, a slight, observant boy and an indomitable girl, “against the dark things of the world.” Dark things soon intrude as the family becomes embroiled in a bitter dispute with a villainous local landowner and his two entitled sons. That conflict generates overheated scenes of gore and overlong speeches that dissipate the novel’s power. There are nevertheless many eerily beautiful scenes, particularly one in which the grizzled father rigs up rustic Christmas lights deep in an ancient copse. Mozley is best when describing the tight-knit family in its isolated splendor, creating, and then clinging to, their “strange, sylvan otherworld.”

  • AudioFile Magazine The dialect of northern England is a defining element in Fiona Mozley's kicker of a first novel, a finalist for this year's Man Booker Prize. Narrator Gareth Bennett-Ryan gives just enough of that sound to draw the listener into her strange and savage landscape. At first, and for what seems like many minutes, we have only that voice--the voice of a boy in an identified place, time, and circumstance. By calculated degrees, we're brought from an atmosphere of mystery into a meticulously detailed contemporary northern England that is no less ungoverned and menacing than the worlds of fantasy and the supernatural that comprise Bennett-Ryan's usual repertory. In an unforgettable match of voice and text, Bennett-Ryan creates a distinctively accented and nuanced world that is equal and counterpart to Mozley's unique literary achievement. This memorable match of voice and text is a double pleasure, and a work of suspense unlike anything you've heard before. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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Elmet
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Fiona Mozley
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