Elmet by Fiona Mozley


Fresh and distinctive writing from an exciting new voice in fiction, Elmet is an unforgettable novel about family, as well as a beautiful meditation on landscape. Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. When they were younger, Daniel and Cathy had gone ...

Details Elmet

Release DateDec 5th, 2017
PublisherAlgonquin Books
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Favorites

Reviews Elmet

  • Angela M
    4.5 stars. The writing is beautiful. I found myself rereading many passages because I wanted to see or feel what is described again. The writing is lyrical with amazingly visual descriptions of this rural area in the woods in the north of England. There's such a sense of place and I always hesitate to call a book atmospheric not wanting to overuse the term, but it is the best description I can come up. Yet, if I didn't know I was reading a novel ...
  • Hannah Greendale
    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.
  • Paromjit
    This is a beautiful and lyrically written piece of Gothic Noir, drawing on the ancient area of Celtic Elmet, comprising West Riding in Yorkshire, Ted Hughes's 'badlands' providing sanctuary to those on the run, and the folklore surrounding Robin Hood. The narrative is from the point of view of a 14 year old Daniel. Daniel, his sister, Cathy and their larger than life father, John, referred to as Daddy, relocate to a rustic area that their mother ...
  • Hugh
    This book was the only genuine surprise on this year's Booker longlist, a first novel by a young British writer. I would be very happy to see this book make the shortlist - there may be at least six better books on the longlist but none of them would benefit as much from the exposure, and this is a promising debut by a talented writer. This was the most unexpectedly welcome inclusion on the shortlist. Very disappointed to lose Reservoir 13, Home ...
  • Larry H
    Fiona Mozley's Elmet is one of the most lyrical, atmospheric books I've read in some time. The descriptions of this area of rural Yorkshire, and the environment that surrounds the main characters, are tremendously poetic and vivid, yet Mozley doesn't use more words than necessary to get the mood or her story across. It's almost as if she strove for a simple, no-nonsense tone befitting her salt-of-the-earth characters.In the book's epigraph from...
  • Julie
    Elmet by Fiona Mozley is a 2017 Algonquin Books publication. This debut novel, shortlisted for the coveted Booker Prize, is an absorbing, intense novel of suspense, which draws from the mini-trend of highlighting the lives of those living ‘off grid’, hand to mouth, shunning the traditional life embraced by most people.Cathy and Daniel live with their father, a prize fighter, in the rural woods of Yorkshire. Cathy is practical, smart, and insi...
  • Diane S ☔
    Elmet, a place of sanctuary, and for Cathy, Danny and their father, for a short while it was. They built on land their mother had once owned, but did no longer, near a copse and woods. They hunted,fished and used whatever the land provided. They didn't have much but they were happy, basically content. The descriptions of this natural setting are glorious, beautifully done,the changing seasons,"Spring that came with a rush of color, a blanket of l...
  • Cheri
    4.5 Stars ”We arrived in summer when the landscape was in full bloom and the days were long and hot and the light was soft. I roamed shirtless and sweated cleanly and enjoyed the hug of the thick air. In those months I picked up freckles on my bony shoulders and the sun set slowly and the evenings were pewter before they were black, before the mornings seeped through again. Rabbits gamboled in the fields and when we were lucky, when the wind w...
  • Mercedes
    4.5 stars
  • Dianne
    ALL THE STARS! I LOVED this. It took me two days to finish the last 35 pages because I dreaded, absolutely DREADED what was coming. I knew this probably wasn't going to end well for the family at the heart of this story - father John ("Daddy"), son Daniel and daughter Cathy - and I just didn't want to let go of them or their story. (P.S. No spoilers here; you will learn as much reading the synopsis of the novel on its dust cover.)This is the most...
  • Rebecca Foster
    (4.5) Shortlisted for the Booker Prize!The dark horse in this year’s Man Booker Prize race is a brilliant, twisted fable about the clash of the land-owning and serf classes in contemporary England. I’d love to see it win, though George Saunders seems like a shoo-in. You’d hardly believe it’s a debut novel, or that it’s by a 29-year-old PhD candidate in medieval history. The epigraph from Ted Hughes defines “Elmet” as an ancient Celt...
  • Cathrine ☯️
    4+⚙⚙⚙⚙What did I just read?A Man-Booker short-listed nominee that did not live up to the teeth gritting that often ensues when I take one on.At times I was sure this was set in the American South even though from the outset it is made clear the setting is Yorkshire with its history of legend and medieval history. It morphed into different territories— fairy tale, coming of age, good vs evil. One reviewer described it as “shape-shiftin...
  • Peter Boyle
    One of the things I like most about the Booker Prize is the way it can shine a light on unknown writers. Elmet was a surprise entry on this year's longlist, and it caused further upset by making the final six at the expense of much acclaimed novels such as The Underground Railroad and Solar Bones. So is this brooding debut deserving of its shortlist status, and can it go on and win the whole thing?The story is set in rural Yorkshire. Daniel Olive...
  • Bianca
    Elmet is a promising debut novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.Mozley can write some beautiful prose, some of the descriptions were resplendent. The other parts of the novel though, such as the characterisations and the plot, weren't so well done.The novel is narrated by the teenager Daniel, who lives with his older sister, Cathy, and their giant father, John Smythe. They are outsiders, mostly hunters and gatherers, building the...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/It’s only mid-April and I’m already terrifyingly behind on reviews so I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet:1. I read this because Vivian told me to and I don’t believe she has ever told me to read something before in the history of our friendship.2. It was a Man Booker Prize shortlister, so it’s a teensie bit smarty farty and the author knows how to words good.3. You really...
  • Meike
    Now Nominated for the Women's Prize for FictionA young woman pursuing a PhD in medieval history writes a tale dominated by Southern Gothic elements, but situated in rural Britian, circling around themes like possession, belonging, gender, and revenge - wow, what a set-up! "Elmet" is narrated by a teenage boy named Daniel, who lives with his father John and his sister Cathy in a house they built with their own hands. Although the narrated time is ...
  • Vivian
    Wow. Holy Crackerdoodles!Bold and filled with images that are burnt into my psyche. Fierce, outside the box and filled with people who won't live in them. Others, not part of the system and no desire to be part of it. Only wanting to live honestly, in peace. But, there's always people who are waiting to take advantage, to play the game, manipulate it for gain. This is no happy story. There is nothing but grit and determination and the price. "We...
  • Maxwell
    This book had elements that reminded me of His Bloody Project and Eileen. It tells the story of Daniel, the narrator, and his sister, Cathy, who live in a house they build on land that isn't theirs with their 'Daddy.' He is affectionately referred to as 'Daddy' throughout the story which is juxtaposed by his burliness and willingness to fight for his family when necessary. The characters are well drawn, especially the main 3, and the story find...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    When I saw this book on the Man Booker Prize long list, I ordered it from the UK. It sounded like just my thing and had a beautiful cover! My expectations weren't met, exactly, but I still think I would read whatever the author did next. Some of the observations she had other characters make, like when Vivien compares their father to a whale, were rather thought-provoking and unique. The only other page I marked is a few chapters later, when the ...
  • Britta Böhler
    An amazing debut. 4.5*
  • Rosh
    This debut novel is about an inaccessible world, familial loyalty and the impact of unfettered violence on lives. Interesting subject matter but more like a sketch for a novel rather than a fully- fledged novel. The realistic elements somehow jarred with the fantasy or fairy-tale element so part of me kept asking where were social services in all this? The ending was a bit like a Quentin Tarantino film. As others have pointed out, the first-perso...
  • Roman Clodia
    Raw and powerful, but uneven throughout, this short, explosive tale is best read in a single sitting to get the most from the build-up of atmosphere, and to avoid the breaking of the spell which allows disbelief to enter. Mozley has a heightened style of prose, a bit Wuthering Heights with its insertions of dialect and mythic landscape, a bit Ted Hughes (witness the title) as his most epic and self-conscious. The whole thing builds to an orgy of ...
  • LeAnne
    This lovely debut is beautifully penned and pulled me into the little of family of three, mostly living off the land in northern England, in a place called Elmet. I kept seeing young Brad Pitt, scruffy faced and wiry, in Guy Ritchie’s film about bare knuckle boxing. Bare knuckle fights apparently were (are?) a thing in the UK, if the story is to be bought into. We meet a man who is considered the best brawler in all of England and the children ...
  • Jessica
    A modern gothic, rural melodrama. At it's heart 'Elmet' is the gritty story of a complex family dynamic and a good vs. evil battle that has us rooting for the questionably deplorable underdog. A solid 4 stars to start with, with a few days to mull over this story, this has crept up to a well deserved 5 stars from me.At the head of our tight knit familial trio, we have 'Daddy'. A violent and damaged man who is driven by a primal love and need to c...
  • Paul Fulcher
    ‘Means nothing to me.’ ‘I can help,’ I said tentatively. He shook his head. ‘No, lad, it’s not that. I can read well enough to understand what it says. It’s idea a person can write summat on a bit of paper about a piece of land that lives and breathes, and changes and quakes and floods and dries, and that that person can use it as he will, or not at all, and that he can keep others off it, all because of a piece of paper. That’s p...
  • Jonathan Pool
    I wonder if Fiona Mozley's English literature degree worked over the greats of English literature? DH Lawrence? Thomas Hardy? The Brontes?The influence of these writers, and the rural, unmodernised, settings of Elmet clearly indicates such influence. (Though Elmet is in the 1980's in northern England).I thought Elmet was lightweight for the most part. I struggled to find any great originality in the central characters.Cathy. An amalgam of Elena F...
  • Trudie
    Finally getting to the last of the books I had an interest in reading from the 2017 Booker shortlist. Elmet generally referred to as the out of left field contender, the book written by the second youngest author to be nominated, typed out on her phone on her commute to work (look what you can achieve when not idly playing Words with Friends).It's perhaps too easy to be dismissive of this novel, particularly when much of the discussion focuses ...
  • Pavle
    Vrlo, vrlo, vrlo dobar debi. Nije čudo što se roman našao u užem izboru za Bukera. Mozlijeva ima lep, svedeno liričan glas i njime uspeva nešto na šta se ne nailazi tako često – napisala roman je potpuno izolovan od vremena. Iako se na papiru odvija u sadašnjem trenutku, atmosfera je takva – maglovita, kišna, šumska, prepuna mračne liričnosti – da potpuno sakriva taj jeftini dojam vremena i, uz par anahronizama, radnja vrlo lak...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Now longlisted for the 2018 Women's Prize.Shortlisted for the 2017 Booker prize - which caused me to re-read the book (having originally read it immediately after its longlisting and writing what I think was the first review of the book). A number of other reviewers have also criticised the narrative voice of Daniel as a sometimes uneasy mix of uneducated dialect and beautiful descriptions (a criticism I have raised of another Booker longlisted b...
  • Neil
    This is the book on the Man Booker Longlist for 2017 of which I had never heard and which I would probably never have read but for its inclusion on that list.Am I glad the Booker judges picked it and that, therefore, I read it? To be honest, I’m not sure.It tells the tale of John Smythe and his two children Cathy and Daniel (not Smythe, for reasons that are explained during the story). It is narrated by Daniel looking back on events. When John ...