By Tom Cox
A novel covering two centuries of folklore and earth magic in a moorland village.
About the book
'Funny, thought-provoking and astoundingly clever ... What will I be able to read after Villager? I'll just read it again, I guess. And again. Just cancel all other books' Adele Nozedar, author of The Hedgerow Handbook
'One chapter unfolds as dialogue with a search engine; others are narrated by the moor itself. A rich potpourri that keeps us busy enough not to worry about what it adds up to’ Anthony Cummins, Mail on Sunday
There’s so much to know. It will never end, I suspect, even when it does. So much in all these lives, so many stories, even in this small place.
Villages are full of tales: some are forgotten while others become a part of local folklore. But the fortunes of one West Country village are watched over and irreversibly etched into its history as an omniscient, somewhat crabby, presence keeps track of village life.
In the late sixties a Californian musician blows through Underhill where he writes a set of haunting folk songs that will earn him a group of obsessive fans and a cult following. Two decades later, a couple of teenagers disturb a body on the local golf course. In 2019, a pair of lodgers discover a one-eyed rag doll hidden in the walls of their crumbling and neglected home. Connections are forged and broken across generations, but only the landscape itself can link them together. A landscape threatened by property development and superfast train corridors and speckled by the pylons whose feet have been buried across the moor.
Tom Cox’s masterful debut novel synthesises his passion for music, nature and folklore into a psychedelic and enthralling exploration of village life and the countryside that sustains it.