A bone-tingling book Richard BensonCarved from the land above Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, Scout Rock is a steep crag overlooking wooded slopes and weed-tangled plateaus. To many it is unremarkable; to others it is a doomed place where 18th-century thieves hid out, where the town tip once sat, and where suicides leapt to their deaths. Its brooding form presided over the early years of Ted Hughes, who called Scout Rock 'my spiritual midwife . . . both the curtain and backdrop to existence'.Into this beautiful, dark and complex landscape steps Benjamin Myers, asking: are unremarkable places made remarkable by the minds that map them? Seeking a new life and finding solace in nature's power of renewal, Myers excavates stories both human and elemental. The result is a lyrical and unflinching investigation into nature, literature, history, memory and the meaning of place in modern Britain.UNDER THE ROCK is about badgers, balsam, history, nettles, mythology, moorlands, mosses, poetry, bats, wild swimming, slugs, recession, floods, logging, peacocks, community, apples, asbestos, quarries, geology, industrial music, owls, stone walls, farming, anxiety, relocation, the North, woodpiles, folklore, landslides, ruins, terriers, woodlands, ravens, dales, valleys, walking, animal skulls, trespassing, crows, factories, maps, rain - lots of rain - and a great big rock.'A bone-tingling book' -- Richard Benson, author of The Valley and The Farm'The writing is perfectly poised and seductive, luminous, an earthy immersion into the granular dark of place. The prose has an intense, porous quality, inhabiting the reader right from the stunning start with the voices of rock, earth, wood and water. This is a truly elemental read from which I emerged subtly changed. The writing has a shamanic quality; Benjamin Myers is a writer of exceptional talent and originality ... it has all the makings of a classic' -- Miriam Darlington, author of Otter Country and Owl SenseCompelling admirable and engrossing. Myers writes of the rain with a poets eye worthy of Hughes Erica Wagner, New Statesman'One of the many joys of Under the Rock - this absorbing, compelling, moving book - is its language; it trickles like a rivulet, thunders like a cataract, and sticks to you like mud. It is full of crannies and dips and peaks wherein wonders hide; explore it for a lifetime and you will not exhaust its mysteries. Unafraid of blood-drenched history and the darkest of despair, this is nonetheless a defiantly life-praising book; it accompanied me to bed and bar, train and plane, and each situation was enriched and brightened by its presence... . It is utterly vital' -- Niall Griffiths, author of Grits, Sheepshagger and Stump'Richly layered, densely and elegantly structured, discursive, elegiac and beautiful. Under the Rock is a stunning exploration of place, mind and myth' -- Jenn Ashworth, author of Fell and The Friday GospelsProdigious, awe-incurring few are as impressive as the formidable Benjamin Myers, who has developed a voice as pure and authentic as it is stark, honest and resolutely northern creates an overall sense of dreamy, quiet beauty, born of love for the lie of the land. The Big IssueA visionary work of immense power and subtlety which establishes Myers as one of Britains most consistently interesting and gifted writers Morning Star 'Place-writing at its most supple: both deeply considered, and deeply felt' -- Melissa Harrison, author of Rain: Four Walks in English WeatherBest known for his bleak and brilliant crime fiction Myers turns his focus to nature writing with absorbing results in this lyrical exploration of Scout Rock in Yorkshires Calder Valley i-news, Best Books to Take on Holiday 2018Exceptionally engaging beguiling this is a startling, unclassifiable book Stuart Kelly, The ScotsmanThoughtful, engaging and beautifully crafted the writing is lyrical yet muscular and elemental, transporting the reader to this plaece of rugged beauty and dark secrets The Yorkshire Post A beautifully poetic, passionate and elegiac book Myers writing left me with a heart-wrenching desire to be there Harry Gallon, Minor Literatures'What distinguishes Under the Rock is Myers' unshakeable commitment. He writes at all times with rock-solid conviction, fashioning a book which is less a work of simple description than a new contribution to the mythology of Elmet' -- Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth, Clear Water and The Heritage'I have become a Benjamin Myers junkie in the last 12 months . . . Myers' place-writing is as good as anything being scrawled in Britain today' - Horatio Clare, author of Down to the Sea in Ships and Orison for a CurlewTerrific Its a book which doesnt just discuss or describe landscape, but immerses you within it if this doesnt put Ben Myers on everyones radar then I dont know what will Daniel Carpenter, BookmunchAn author to adopt as your own, a book to turn others on to ... boy does it rock Cally Callomon, Caught by the RiverA daring new work makes the unremarkable truly remarkable. Its a work that is focused on landscape and place and is another step on this special writer cementing himself as more than just a cult favourite Narc MagazineAn extraordinary blend of power, poetry and grit Benjamin Myers has made his rock sing Richard Littledale, The Preachers BlogMyers prose is outstanding Marcel Krueger, Hong Kong Review of BooksPraise for The Gallows Pole:'Fierce, gale-driven prose that speaks to and of the northern English landscape . . . much admiration' -- Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks and The Lost Words'Terrific: illuminating, gripping and deeply rooted in its setting' -- Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun'Myers is the master of English rural noir' -- Paul Kingsnorth, author of The Wake and Beast'Starkly beautiful prose' - Alex Preston, the Guardian...
|Title||:||Under The Rock: The Poetry of a Place|
|Number of Pages||:||362 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Under » Under The Rock: The Poetry of a Place|
Under The Rock: The Poetry of a Place Reviews
An intensely personal, poetic and idiosyncratic book that defies categorisation, this tells the story of a decade spent living in the Calder Valley and Myers's explorations of his surroundings, where the wild and the industrial are juxtaposed.
It mixes memoir with nature and landscape writing and local history. I had a map of the area to hand while reading and I will be tempted to return to the area myself.
Myers is a relatively recent discovery for me - his novel The Gallows Pole was a highlight ...more
Over the last 4-5 years, I have learned the joy of exploring a place. In my case, it is the fields alongside the local brook where I have watched almost 90 species of bird, 19 species of butterfly, dozens of insects, foxes, deer (roe and fallow), hares and a weasel. Plus other things. I have discovered the benefits of concentrating on a single area as I have visited this relatively small patch 4-5 times every week and got to know where everything lives.
In essence, this is what Ben Myers does in ...more
The first thing a reader will notice on picking up Under the Rock is that it is beautifully produced: the vibrant detail and embossing on the cover; the purple end papers; the clear, well spaced print. Within a few pages it becomes clear that the writing is something special too. That subtitle, The Poetry of a Place, is deserved.
This is not a book to be rushed. Over the course of the days I spent reading I kept setting it down to step outside and appreciate my surroundings – the small things it ...more