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21st-Century Yokel

By Tom Cox

A nature book, but not quite like any you’ll have read before

Biography | Humour
349% funded
1519 supporters
Published

Publication date: November 2017

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book cover
You made 21st-Century Yokel a reality. It's available in all good book stores now.
$15 
192 pledges

Digital

Ebook edition
Choose this reward

Sold out!

$30  + shipping
540 pledges

Hardback

A first edition of the hardback plus the ebook
$40  + shipping
451 pledges

Collectable

A signed first edition of the hardback plus the ebook
$50  + shipping
232 pledges

Woffal Stamp

A signed first edition of the hardback with a stamp of the word "WOFFAL!" plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.
$55  + shipping
8 pledges

two together

Two first editions of the hardback (shipped together), plus the ebook.
$70  + shipping
20 pledges

Pressed Leaf

A pressed leaf from one of the trees mentioned in the tree chapter on the inside front page of the signed first edition of the hardback with plus the ebook and your name in the back of the book.

Numbers limited.

$70  + shipping
13 pledges

Roscoe Notebook

A customised moleskine notebook with a handprinted linocut on the cover, 9cm by 14cm, unlined pages, with a painting of Roscoe on the front. Plus everything up to the Collectable level.
Only 4 available

$90  + shipping
5 pledges

Roscoe Lavender Kitten

Hand made, hand screen printed on linen with cotton back, lavender filled, plus everything at the collectable level Only 5 available

$105  + shipping
5 pledges

The Plight of the Bumble Bees linoprint

An artist's proof mounted linoprint 'The Plight of the Bumble Bees' of one of Tom's cats made by Tom's mother plus everything at the Collectable level.

Only 5 available.

$105  + shipping
5 pledges

Out Wearing Your Best Tuxedo

Signed and numbered artist's mounted linoprint 'Out Wearing Your Best Tuxedo' plus everything at the Collectable level.

Only 5 available.

$120  + shipping
1 pledge

Hair Salon

Miniature pen and ink with watercolour paintings 11cm x 15cm (postcard size) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$120  + shipping
2 pledges

Tinner's Rabbits (Celtic Hares)

A hand screen printed by artist Jo Cox (image size approx 11cm square, mounted size 23cm) plus everything up to the collectable level Only 2 available

$135  + shipping
14 pledges

Landscape Print

A print of one of Tom's landscape photos from the book plus everything at the Collectable level.

Numbers limited.

$135  + shipping
1 pledge

The Tickling to Death of Jesus

Miniature pen and ink with watercolour paintings 11cm x 15cm (postcard size) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$135  + shipping
1 pledge

Penguin Painting

Original miniature watercolour painting 11cm x 15cm (postcard size) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$135  + shipping
1 pledge

God's First Tree

Original watercolour painting (square, 7.5inches across) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$135  + shipping
4 pledges

Jackdaw

A lino print by artist Jo Cox (Image size 13cm square, mounted size 26cm square) plus everything up to the collectable level Only 4 available

$135  + shipping
1 pledge

Shipley on the Beanbag

Lino print by artist Jo Cox (image size 17cm X 14cm, mounted size 30 x 25cm approx.) plus everything up to the collectable level Only one available

$135  + shipping
1 pledge

Shipley on the Beanbag 2

Lino print by artist Jo Cox (image size 17cm X 14cm, mounted size 30 x 25cm approx.) plus everything up to the collectable level Only one available

$135  + shipping
4 pledges

Otters

Lino print by artist Jo Cox plus everything up to the Collectable level
18cm x 13cm and mount size 30cm x 24cm (Mount backboard and cello wrapped)
Only 4 available

$135  + shipping
4 pledges

Badger

A lino print by artist Jo Cox plus everything up to the Collectable level. Image approx w.16cm x h.13cm Mount size 26cm sq. (Mount backboard and cello wrapped)

Only 4 available
$160  + shipping
12 pledges

Watercolour print - Cattle in Winter

ʻCattle in Winterʼ (size 360mm x 240mm unframed unmounted). Highest quality numbered print on acid-free Bockingford watercolour paper, painted by Tom's father, plus everything at the Collectable level.

Numbers limited.

$160  + shipping
6 pledges

Watercolour print - Sheepwash Bridge

ʻSheepwash Bridgeʼ (size 360mm x 240mm unframed unmounted). Highest quality numbered print on acid-free Bockingford watercolour paper, painted by Tom's father, plus everything at the Collectable level.

Numbers limited.

$160  + shipping
1 pledge

Sheep in Snow

Original watercolour and ink painting on board (12cm x 18cm) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$160  + shipping
1 pledge

Misty Morning

Original watercolour and ink painting on board (14cm x 25.5cm) by Michael Cox plus everything at the Collectable level.
Only 1 available

$200  + shipping
8 pledges

Name a character

The opportunity to name a character after yourself (or a nominated person) in Tom's forthcoming fiction plus everything at the Collectable level.

8 available.

$200  + shipping
2 pledges

In Cahoots (The Bear and Shipley)

An artist's proof of an original lino print (otherwise sold out). Ink on Zerkall paper, in a mount with backing board by artist Jo Cox. Plus everything up to the Collectable level.
Only two available

$265  + shipping
8 pledges

Dartmoor Folklore Guided Walk

A folklore walk on Dartmoor guided by Tom in the Autumn, plus everything at the Collectable level.

Limited numbers; travel not included.

$265  + shipping
1 pledge

George and Friends

Fabric applique, (dyed cotton, machine and hand stitched) by artist Jo Cox, approx 9.5” x 5.5” plus everything up to the Collectable level
Only one available

$330  + shipping
1 pledge

The Assassination of Winnie the Pooh

An original watercolour painting by Michael Cox, Tom's father, plus everything up to the collectable level.
Only 1 available

$330  + shipping
1 pledge

Testicles Removed

An original watercolour painting by Michael Cox, Tom's father, plus everything up to the collectable level.
Only 1 available

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21st-Century Yokel is the book that, as someone entrenched in a love of the countryside, I’ve been waiting a decade to write - maybe longer. It’s not quite a nature book, not quite a humour book, not quite a family memoir, not quite folklore, not quite social history, not quite a collection of essays, but a bit of all seven.

People who’ve read my recent books about my cats - which are in truth often about lots of other subjects, besides cats - will hopefully get similar enjoyment from it but get something a little bit broader and more muscular out of it too. It’s the restless, sometimes dark beast I could feel ferociously trying to punch its way out of my last cat book, and in order to give the restless beast the space it needed I decided not to try to sell it on a synopsis and sample chapters, as I had with previous books, but to let it take me where it needed to go, without commercial influence. I wanted it to be what I needed it to be, first and foremost, not what a sales team needed it to be.

The result is a book that explores the way we can be tied inescapably to landscape, whether we like it or not, often through our family and our past, and goes deep into ties of this nature in my own life. It contains owls, badgers, ponies, beavers, otters, bats, bees, scarecrows, dogs, ghosts, my loud excitable dad and, yes, even a few cats. It’s full of local folklore - the ancient kind, and the everyday kind - and provincial places and small stuff, but in a curious way what has emerged from that is something broader and bigger and more definitive than my other work.

I am aware that I could have approached 21st-Century Yokel in a different way: forced it into a neater, more marketable concept, but I felt that would have made for a less natural collection of writing, and one where I challenged myself less, and found out less about who I am. Instead, I think the book has a lot in common with the country walks I was on when I composed much of it: it’s bewitched by fresh air, intrepid in minor ways, haunted by weather and old stories and the spooky edges of the outdoors, restless, sometimes foolish, prone to a few detours, but always reaches its intended destination. As a non-fiction writer, all my books are true, but this one is somehow a bit truer, and it’s been by far the most difficult and enjoyable and painful and satisfying I’ve ever written.

 

Praise for 21st-Century Yokel:

‘Tom Cox is an enchanting companion in this modern romp through treasured landscapes. I laughed and learned on every page’ Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator and The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs

21st-Century Yokel is simultaneously the funniest and saddest book about the modern countryside that I know. But no surprise there, because Tom Cox is THE soulman of British literature’ John Lewis-Stempel, author of The Running Hare

‘A wonderful, witty and moving collection of essays that, together, meander somewhere between nature writing, memoir and quiet polemic. As ever, Tom Cox’s musing and meditations are profound and playful, reflective and seriously readable, riffing on the difficulties of locating bat detectors in Argos one moment and painting heartbreaking eulogies to his Nan the next. A storyteller in entrancing form’ Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground

Buy

Quick select rewards

$15 
192 pledges

Digital

Ebook edition
Choose this reward
$30  + shipping
540 pledges

Hardback

A first edition of the hardback plus the ebook
  • Tom Cox avatar

    Tom Cox

    Tom Cox is the author of eight previous books, including the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry and Bring Me The Head Of Sergio Garcia, his account of his year as Britain's most inept golf professional, which was longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award in 2007. Tom lives in Devon and writes about - amongst many other subjects - nature, folklore, music and books on his voluntary subscription website, having quit writing for traditional media outlets entirely in 2015. He also hosts a monthly radio show on the experimental rural radio station Soundart and does live rural storytelling tours around the UK.

  • I like to climb Yarner Beacon on a clear day, gaze several miles into the distance towards the sea, and try to pick out the location of the footpaths Ive walked, which, after nearly three years of living here, is almost all of them. I once previously made the mistake of moving to an exciting new part of the British countryside and not immediately investigating every bit of it forensically on foot and I dont intend to make the same error again. From up here Im always amazed at the way all the threads connect, their shimmies and jinks and thrusts being disguised when youre beneath hilltop level, in the thick of it. It could be compared to the moment when, having only previously travelled through London by tube, a person explores the city at ground level on foot and realises the unexpected interconnectivity of the stations, their surprising proximity to one another. So many of the paths here in south west Devon are of a hidden nature: sunken lanes that were already old in Saxon times, created by landowners digging ditches at the boundaries between their properties and piling earth into continuous banks on their own sides. These holloways feel impossibly solid when, as a walker, youre bracketed by their banks, below the bulk of the land, in an eerily quiet semi-subterranean shale, fern, mud and moss world.

    In winter this countryside is a totally different colour to Norfolks: reddy brown and green, as opposed to grainy brown and muddy grey. Rich rain-sodden earth and leaf mulch provide the reddy brown; plentiful moss, resilient fern and lichen add back-up greens on the borders of fields and meadows that stay more emerald luminous in the cold months than any other fields and meadows Ive known. There is a strong argument in favour of every season here: autumn for its crunchy lysergic coppers and golds, its sunlit spiderwebs and sudden forgotten woodsmoke rush, summer because summer here is just dizzying with all the possibile ways it offers to fill your time. But in winter as the land strips itself back it shows you new secrets and you feel like youre getting a glimpse into something special behind everything else: intangible, ghoulish, a necessary dark pigment on the edge of the land of the living. On a steep rocky holloway leading down from the hamlet of Aish the leaf curtain has fallen back to reveal a ruined barn I never knew was there.

    Read more...
  • 15th August 2019 NOTEBOOK: a new book by me

    Hi,

    Thanks again for your support on 21st-Century Yokel. I wanted to let you know about my next book, NOTEBOOK, which has gone up for funding. I'd be delighted if you could help make it a reality. You can read a little bit more about it here: https://unbound.com/books/notebook/

    There are also lots of stationery-related pledge reward goodies available.

    (Apologies if you already got this update…

    9th June 2019 Ring The Hill, the follow up to 21st-Century Yokel, is now complete!

     

     Hi everyone!

    I thought you might like to know that I am delivering my final edit of Ring The Hill, my non-fiction follow up to 21st-Century Yokel, tomorrow morning, and wondered if you would like to see one of my mum's linoprints for the book (she has done thirteen in total, and the attached is possibly my favourite).

    Also, in case you didn't know, for anyone who might be still thinking…

    1st April 2019 Ring The Hill: the cover

    I'm absolutely delighted to be able to reveal Clare Melinsky's amazing front cover for Ring The Hill. Clare came up with a wonderful cover for 21st-Century Yokel but I think she has outdone herself here. If you'd like to find out more about the book - which is a sister book to Yokel, although not exactly a sequel - or pledge for a special edition, you can do so here: https://unbound.com/books/ring…

    3rd January 2019 Some background about the artwork in 21st-Century Yokel and Help The Witch

    Hello! I thought those who'd helped fund 21st-Century Yokel and Help The Witch (big thank you to all of you again!) might be interested to read this piece I just wrote, which gives some background to the art my mum provided for the books: http://tom-cox.com/writing/the-magic-room/. I'm also giving away a few of her prints to new subscribers to my site via paypal or Gocardless. The subscription links…

    26th November 2018 Ring The Hill

    Hi again! A couple of people who pledged early on Ring The Hill mentioned there was no link to signed copies. Just to let everyone know: they are very much available, and this link should work: https://unbound.com/books/ring-the-hill/. There is also the option to upgrade if you pledged for a non-signed one. Look out for a few new pledge rewards on the page in the coming days. HUGE THANKS to everyone…

    21st November 2018 NEW BOOK

    Hello. Thank you so much again for pledging for 21st Century Yokel. I wanted to let you know that my new book, Ring The Hill, is now up for funding: https://unbound.com/books/ring-the-hill/. It's another "nature and beyond" non-fiction book, and I hope people who enjoyed 21st Century Yokel will enjoy it in a not dissimilar way. All the best! Tom

    24th September 2017 21st Century Yokel Walking Diary 2: Finding The Source Of The River Dart

    19th September 2017 21st Century Yokel Walking Diary 1: Haldon Hill

    6th June 2017 Q&A Between Readers, Me And My Local Squirrel

    Louise King (Facebook): Has the process of writing this new book altered how you experience walking through the countryside?

    Tom: It has, especially if I define “writing this new book” as beginning in 2008, when I started to walk a lot in Norfolk, where I was living at the time. I am quite leggy and have always been a fast walker but in recent years have learned to be better at listening…

    17th May 2017 Some Thoughts About The Writing Of 21st Century Yokel

    Now I've completed 21st Century Yokel, I've written a piece about some of the creative decisions I made during its creation, and why I chose to publish with Unbound. You can read the full piece by following this link, but here is an excerpt...

    As I began to write 21st Century Yokel, I could see other potential commercial decisions ahead of me that had nothing to do with whether or not the book…

  • These people are helping to fund 21st-Century Yokel.

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    Tom Cox

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    Tom Cox

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