Jude Cook

Daddy Issues

Elmet

By

JM Originals 311pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

Every Booker Prize longlist brings at least one surprise and this year it’s 29-year-old Fiona Mozley’s debut novel, Elmet, a gothic tale of trespass and transgression set in a Yorkshire landscape that’s curiously ageless, with little sign of the recent industrial past. This is surely intentional (Elmet was the Celtic kingdom that’s now the West Riding of Yorkshire), and the historical and geographical indeterminacy adds much to the book’s charge. The past oozes through every chapter: ‘once the whole county had been woodland … The soil was alive with ruptured stories … Tales of green men … Robyn Hode and his pack of scrawny vagrants.’ It’s a world where bestial violence is prone to erupt at any moment, an elemental, unsettling place, familiar from novels such as Ross Raisin’s God’s Own Country and Bruce Chatwin’s On the Black Hill.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • One woman 'travelled round the south of India with a retinue of 750 people, fourteen elephants, two racing camels f… ,
    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,