Books are taking a bit longer than usual to arrive, due to COVID-19. Published ebooks are delivered immediately by email.

Villager

By Tom Cox

A novel covering two centuries of folklore and earth magic in a moorland village.

Nature | Spring
302% funded
1648 supporters
Published

Publication date: 28 April 2022

Buy
book cover
You made Villager a reality. It's available in all good book stores now.
$15 
126 pledges

Digital

Ebook
Buy now

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my book to get dispatched?

For books in stock we usually dispatch orders within a few working days. You will receive a dispatch email when your order is on the way.

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We have temporarily stopped taking orders for published books going to EU destinations due to BREXIT restrictions, but we deliver to most other countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book. If your country does not appear on the list we are not currently taking orders to that destination.

If I buy an ebook, when will I receive this?

Ebook files are sent via email after checkout, or you can download them from your Unbound account.

Where can I buy a copy if there's none available through the Unbound website?

The book should be available to order from most bookshops, or you can support your local bookshop online by ordering from bookshop.org.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

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.

Buy

Quick select rewards

$15 
126 pledges

Digital

Ebook
Buy now
  • Tom Cox avatar

    Tom Cox

    Tom Cox is the author of thirteen books, including Notebook, Ring the Hill, Help The Witch and 21st Century Yokel, which Robert MacFarlane described as 'just a glorious book - funny and wry and wise, and utterly its own law maker'. It was longlisted for the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. Help the Witch was described by Ben Myers as, ''Often unnerving, frequently funny and always original, the tangled roots of these haunted stories reach into deep, dark places to unearth an alternative England."

  • But he was not a person entirely devoid of hubris. He had the complacency of many people who arrive in the British countryside from a country populated by bears, coyotes and mountain lions, and the sun massaged that complacency. He was still a newcomer to the moor and even oldcomers to it knew only a fraction of a fraction of what there was to know about it. One of the many things he didn’t yet know about it was that, in late August, in days of heat after heavy rain, on the stretches where it was still most fully permitted to be itself, it breathed and growled as deeply as it did in the height of the harshest winter. Terrain you’d visited always compacted its scale in your mind afterwards and he had begun to learn that but, even so, the route back to the ruined house was surprisingly arduous. The river told him he was going the right way but it seemed further than before and something had happened in the dripping folds of earth above the banks: an angry awakening, a last wet sucking of life into the lungs before autumn’s dry death. Brown flies clung fiercely to his flesh. Huge tufts of grass shoved him from side to side, arguing over their custody of him. Blue and pink and yellow flowers spilled over the damp ground like ornate vomit. An old octopus of a tree reached down a rough tentacle and anointed his cheek with a bloody scratch. In his shoes, the soles of his feet sloshed about and blistered and began their transformation into a sore kind of paste. Every path became a whisper and then a lie. A stiff gate opened but led directly to a shrub of insanity. The song the old man and his wife had sung was in his head again and he hummed the song and then he barked it at the impassable bracken that stretched all the way up the valley walls and then he croaked it at the sky. An area of oxygen finally widened ahead but the ground beneath it drank his feet then low branches formed a roadblock and he crawled under them then lost most of his left leg in a peaty bubbling hole and had to use all his strength to retrieve it. He could not have been more wet if he was in the river itself up to his neck and the burnt moist state of him attracted more and more tiny winged life and he knew then that one day, once again, this would be the the world. Not a car, not a sandwich, not an ambition, not sense, not a cow, not a horse, not love, not a song, not a girl. Just this sucking and gargling and burping thing beneath him. When the dizziness came, and the pain in the head, just before the light clicked off, it was a relief to submit, to just fall into the mouth of everything and not go on fighting any more. And then night fell smoothly in and not thirteen yards away the river, which was not interested, continued to yell as it rushed over the rocks.

    Read more...
  • Tom Cox has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    4th May 2022 Villager news

    Hello lovely supporters,

    Villager is now finally out in the world! Thank you again for making it happen. I'm very pleased to say that the book made it to number 18 on the UK hardback fiction bestseller chart in the week of publication and has already had some lovely reviews. You should all have your first edition hardbacks now (please email support@unbound.com if not) but if you'd like to buy another…

    5th October 2021 Sneak preview of some of the art for Villager

    Dear supporters,

    Here's a little sneak preview of the art my mum, Jo, has been coming up with so far for the inside of Villager. The book is now edited and will be going to the printers in a few weeks, once she has finished the linoprints, and my dad has finished the map for the front (I'm especially excited about this, as I've always wanted to write a book with a map in it).

    Cheers

    Tom

    21st September 2021 Villager: The Cover!

    Dear supporters,

    It gives me huge pleasure to reveal Joe McLaren's brilliant cover for my debut novel, Villager. I haven't shared this on social media yet, as I wanted to give you the the first look, as a thank you for your generous early support of the book. I think the image - co-devised with Unbound's art director Mark Ecob - really encapsulates the feel of the book and works as a lovely companion…

  • These people are helping to fund Villager.

    User avatar

    Fred Campbell

    User avatar

    Joanna Forbes

    User avatar

    James Harvey

    User avatar

    Emilia Arias

    User avatar

    Paul Colnaghi

    User avatar

    Gemma Church

    User avatar

    Katherine Webb

    User avatar

    Sam Browne

    User avatar

    Barbara Gittes

    User avatar

    Kate Henriques

    User avatar

    Charlotte Stark

    User avatar

    Sarah Royston

    User avatar

    Craig Reilly

    User avatar

    Clare Lewis

    User avatar

    andrea harrison

    User avatar

    Jonny Cook

    User avatar

    Austin Zellmer-McMahan

    User avatar

    Andrew Smith

    User avatar

    Katie Pearson

    User avatar

    Simon Trevaskis

    User avatar

    Natasha Vadasz

    User avatar

    Roy Starling

    View more
  • Liz Carr
    Liz Carr asked:

    Could I please check whether the reward £65 + Village map includes a signed hardback? The blurb doesn't state that the hard copy is signed. Most of the other, similar rewards do say it'll be signed. I'd very much like Toms sig to complete my collection... until next time! Thank you.

    Tom Cox
    Tom Cox replied:

    Hi Liz. It does!

    Imogen Hampton
    Imogen Hampton asked:

    Where is the .mobi version?

    Tom Cox
    Tom Cox replied:

    Hi Imogen. Please can you email unbound direct about this.