Folk by Zoe Gilbert


Every year they gather, while the girls shoot their arrows and the boys hunt them out. The air is riddled with spiteful shadows - the wounds and fears and furies of a village year.On a remote and unforgiving island lies a village unlike any other: Neverness. A girl is snatched by a water bull and dragged to its lair, a babe is born with a wing for an arm and children ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. While the villagers live out their own tales...

Details Folk

Release DateFeb 8th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury UK
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Short Stories, Literary Fiction

Reviews Folk

  • Hannah
    I was so very much looking forward to this; I even featured it on my list of most anticipated books. This collection of connected short stories is steeped in myth and folktale and set on an island with an absolutely gorgeous cover – how could I not read this? This sounds like absolute perfection. And the writing is lyrical and the atmosphere haunting. But it is also disjointed and lacks a sufficient emotional punch to be the great book it could...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Folk tells the story of the island of Neverness, steeped in folk myths, where girls can be snatched by water bulls, and babes are born with wings. Every chapter is told by a different character, some from different generations, and each with their own story to tell. In this sense it's almost like a collection of short stories put together in a more cohesive manner than normal. They'...
  • Hiu Gregg
    I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This was... an experience, for sure.Folk is a collection of short-stories set on the island of Neverness. Each of these short stories reads like a short folk tale, and every so often they interweave. The characters of these tales range from children to adults, and every story is a little weird and strange in that way that folk tales tend to be. Characters from one tale ...
  • Aoife
    3.5 starsI received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Folk is a beautiful collection of short stories all set on a slightly mystical island called Neverness. I’m not a huge connoisseur of short stories so I did go into this one with some trepidation but I just knew it was something I had to give a chance to, and I’m so glad I did. I really loved the slightly creepy feeli...
  • Emma
    Firstly, this has one of the best designed covers I’ve seen in recent years- stark and bright at once, it demands attention. Not only that, it well reflects the inside- its detailed and layered nature. Secondly, the stories. After being seduced by the jacket, I wanted to love the contents, but the multiplicity of tales did not add up to a truly affecting whole. The language and the imagery are beautiful, sometimes magical, but it felt too dista...
  • Emma
    First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.This is a book that requires a pinch of patience. To be perfectly honest, it took me quite a while to get into it, but by the time I turned the last page, I had been absolutely bewitched by the incredible world Zoe Gilbert wove into being throughout the novel.Before I go any further, it's also worth noting that th...
  • Marchpane
    Utterly captivating, Folk by Zoe Gilbert takes the form of connected short stories, and is about the inhabitants of a slightly fantastical island called Neverness. The folklore and legends are as real as the hardships of life in this remote, windswept place. The stories build on each other, so that a character who appears as a child might return as a adult later on, and the events of one tale can recur as an urban legend in another. This structur...
  • Jenny
    A brilliant read to start 2018. Folk is a collection of short stories (I've seen a few reviews describe Folk as a novel, perhaps it's being marketed as such?) centered on the inhabitants of a village called Neverness. Zoe Gilbert's stories are the perfect balance of weird and twisted but not so removed from reality that they feel unbelievable. I loved the structure of the book, it's not something I've seen done before in a short story collection....
  • Ova Incekaraoglu
    Poetic short stories taking place in imaginary land of Neverness. It reminded me a bit of Angela Carter when I started reading and I got excited but unfortunately I found it difficult to engage with the text and ended up not finishing after reading 40% of the book. There are too many characters and events going on but the setting and characters didn't take form in my head. It was impossible for me to keep reading without being able to materialise...
  • Christina Reid
    Strange, magical and unsettling-full review now here:
  • Jo
    I won this in the giveaways in exchange for an honest review. The people of the island of Neverness are surrounded by myths and folk tales. Each chapter in this novel covers a different story with an occasional overlap of characters. I enjoyed this more than I expected to and found the tales reminiscent of various myths and legends from Britain.
  • Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk
    The whole story and the writing were so confusing. I didn't get what was happening and all the characters changed so fast and abrupt it all became kind of messy. Sorry I needed to dnf this. 🤷🏻♀ The whole story and the writing were so confusing. I didn't get what was happening and all the characters changed so fast and abrupt it all became kind of messy. Sorry I needed to dnf this. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • Bridget
    This is unlike anything I've read before. I'll post a review closer to publication, but I think this is going to be on all the best of lists next year.Thanks to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for giving me access.
  • Kirsty
    I was inspired to read Folk after watching a video of Mercedes' on YouTube, which spoke of her excitement for it. I had had an electronic copy on my Kindle for some time, but hadn't got around to it. It intrigued me on the face of it, and I was hoping for something akin to Kirsty Logan's wonderful writing. I found the beginning of the novel beguiling and intriguing, but sadly the interconnectedness of the short stories which is promised was barel...
  • DLS
    This is effectively a collection of short stories from different characters point of view, all happening on the remote island of Neverness. Personally, I hate short stories. Just as I'm getting into one it ends with little to no explanation on what is happening, so this book is just not my cup of tea.
  • Victoria
    It took a while to get into this book, but once you’re in to it, it has you. Sold as a novel but what feels like chapters of short stories, Folk is is an unusual story, telling tales of people who live in a village - all the stories are connected and flow brilliantly, but they all tell a story of the various people who live in the same place. In these stories there’s an underlying dark mood, that works throughout the book, characters like Ger...
  • Clare
    This collection of short stories is set on the island of Neverness. All of the stories are interconnected and characters reoccur as adults after they were in a story as children. We see how an experience in one story then becomes a cautionary tale or a fairytale in another. I loved the atmosphere in this book: menacing, dreamlike, happy, sad - like a fairytale really. The language used was really very poetic. If you're attracted to this as a Fant...
  • Jo
    This is a collection of short stories, each told from the point of view of one of the people living in the village of Neverness. As a literary device, I'd imagine this would be hard to pull off, but Zoe Gilbert makes it appear effortless and it works so, so well. It's also absolutely the sort of whimsical, dark fairytale sort of narrative that I love, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of it.That said, this is a review copy and I get that it's uncorrec...
  • Roman Clodia
    This is gorgeously written with some fine imagery - and really, the stylish prose and vivid pictures it conjures up are more important, in some ways, than the narrative story-telling. This draws on European fairy-tales but also Classical myths (the bull-fighting made me think of the bull-dancers in the Theseus/Cretan myths, for example), and the ring-structure points back to archaic poetry as well as duplicating the circle of the seasons. A littl...
  • Meegy
    Going to have to give this book a 3. I didn't realise it was a short story collection, and everything was a jumbled up. The stories are all about the one village, and all the weird stuff that happens in it. I got confused a lot, but I will have to say I did enjoy it, not the best book I have read, but it was still good. Thank you to Net Galley, the Publisher and of course the Author for giving me a chance to read this book.