Lanny by Max Porter


There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs.This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the people who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s...

Details Lanny

Release DateMar 7th, 2019
PublisherFaber & Faber
GenreFiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Literary Fiction

Reviews Lanny

  • Amalia Gavea
    ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers has been on my list for quite some time but for one reason or another, I never seem to find the chance to read it. Lanny was recommended by my personal idol, Jen Campbell, in one of her outstanding videos. I wanted something dark, British and...
  • Hugh
    I loved this book but I really don't know how to review it. It really shouldn't work - a magic realist fantasy set in an English village that brings a fresh eye to both contemporary problems, history and the environment. It is poetic, and its most fantastic character Dead Papa Toothwort, the village bogeyman - a mixture of green man myth with collective memory and shapeshifting, talks in a wild tangle of overheard phrases that refuse normal typog...
  • Marchpane
    Just flipping amazing.
  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    Max Porter is a genius. There is absolutely no way I can think as to how to review or even describe this book. It's pure emotion. Each word has meaning. I cried at the way simple words were put together to form these sentences that just tore their way into my heart. It's contemporary, it's fable, it's dark, it's painful, it's hopeful, it's true. It's unlike anything else. It's simply breathtaking. "Which do you think is more patient, an idea or a...
  • Elyse Walters
    Odd .. unique... but I’mindifferent to it. Mostly - it hurt my brain.I see the brilliance- respect it - I just don’t have what it takes to read a book like this and honestly - passionately love it.
  • Eric Anderson
    It’s difficult to describe the experience of reading Max Porter’s new novel “Lanny”, but it feels somewhere between “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor and an Ali Smith novel. In some ways it’s a simple story of family life in a small English village where a child goes missing. But it’s also about ancient elemental forces which periodically cause widespread chaos and test all the moral fibres which we believe hold our society together....
  • Gumble's Yard
    I suspect already this will be my favourite book of 2019 - alongside "Spring"One part “Missing Fay” – looking at how a child’s disappearance in a country village exposes class, immigration and town-country divisionsOne-part “Reservoir Tapes” (not “Reservoir 13”) with a chorus of village voices reflecting on that disappearanceOne – perhaps several - parts Ali Smith (with a fey child, of a type that Olivia Laing has called Smith...
  • Peter Boyle
    Lanny is an unusual little boy. He sings to himself in a made-up language, writes strange letters and hides them in bushes, and builds a shrine full of the treasures he finds on his rambles. His parents don't quite know what to make of him. Not long ago, they all moved to a picturesque town on the outskirts of London - Dad still commutes to his job in the City while Mum works on her debut crime novel. They encourage Lanny to develop his creative ...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    The audiobook version of Lanny by Max Porter is quite the experience, and feels like a combination of other books that I like and that others like. Mix part Reservoir 13 and The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor (sleepy village, child goes missing, multiple perspectives) with The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (small child interacting with the supernatural, in this case Dead Papa Toothwort,) family and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (commun...
  • Renee Godding
    "She laughed, and said she understood, and then off she drifted in that nice way she was. Resposive to the light, I would call it. The type of person who is that little bit more akin to the weather than most people, more obviously made of the same atoms as the earth than most people these days seem to be. Which explains Lanny." Just as unique as Grief is the Thing with Feathers, and possibly even more masterfully written. What an incredible book ...
  • Paul Fulcher
    The boy understands. He builds his magical camp in the woods as a gift to them all. They should worship him! He is in tune with the permanent, can feel a community’s tensile frame. Do you see? His intuition?Lanny Greentree, your miracle ribs remind me of me.Now Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize - I suspect and certainly hope, the first prize nomination of many.Max Porter's debut novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers was the most strikingly ...
  • Katie Long
    This book made me feel the way that I did reading The Secret Garden when I was nine years old. That was the first time I understood that reading was magical and essential. I can give a book no higher praise.
  • Neira
    ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ In his folkloric genius of a poem "The Stolen Child", W.B. Yeats coaxes one of his seldomly employed poetic voices to narrate a woeful tale of the human child enticed by faeries to leave the shores of the beguiling human world "more full of weeping than you can understand." Even though thi...
  • Paltia
    I just finished this story and I’m already missing Lanny. He’s one of a kind. Maybe you are familiar with the illustrations of Arthur Rackham. His drawings of forest creatures and faces in the ancient oak trees are a wonderful invitation to this story. Max Porter hypnotized me with his words. He’s created a distinct mood for each of the parts of this book. All my senses were engaged as the story moved along. The focus is mainly on Dead Papa...
  • Dan
    Max Porter’s Lanny is a small gem of a novel: taut, well told, with mounting suspense and interest. Porter knows and works well within his story’s limits. Porter’s portrayal of Lanny and his relationships with his mother and Pete were lovely. Also especially well done is the portrayal of Lanny’s father and his transgressive ambivalence and antagonism towards his son. Papa Toothwort and the village cast of characters were not for me. 3.5 s...
  • Will
    3.5, rather generously rounded up. Sorry, to all my GR friends who loved this one so much.
  • Krista
    I sit at work in the city and the thought of him existing a sixty-minute train ride from me, going about his day in the village, carrying his strange brain around, seems completely impossible. It seems unlikely, when I'm at work, that we have a child and it is Lanny. If my parents were here, they'd surely say, No Robert, you've dreamt him. Children aren't like that. Go back to sleep. Go back to work. Lanny is exactly suited to my tastes: Lyrical ...
  • ns510
    4.5 stars.”I was depressed when we moved here. I’d been ill after Lanny was born and those feelings came back to me. Empty, shrunken, hunted. I had horrifying dreams. I felt watched the whole time, judged, and even when I walked out into the fields and woods I felt scrutinised. And then I cursed the naïvety of the Londoner moving to the country expecting to find there or in themselves ready-made tranquillity.”Today I read Lanny by Max Port...
  • Rebecca
    Lanny is the kind of odd kid who asks questions like “Which do you think is more patient, an idea or a hope?” and builds a bower in the woods “for the whole village and anyone who finds it … to make them fall in love with everything.” His mum Jolie, a crime writer, celebrates Lanny’s uniqueness, but his dad Robert, “a lean mean commuting machine” and fairly stereotypical laddish sort, doesn’t really understand him. Jolie arrange...
  • Sunita
    This is Porter’s second novel; his debut, Grief Is the Thing With Feathers was widely praised. It was an unusual novel in style and substance, but it definitely hit a chord. Lanny is also stylistically experimental, with the physical layout playing an important part in how the text is consumed. The titular character is a young boy who has moved to an English village with his parents. The family is one of the many who have turned rural villages ...
  • Marcus Hobson
    This ranks up there with the best books I have ever read. The ending is so full of tension that it made me miss whole paragraphs in my anxiety to find out what had happened. I had to go back and read some parts a second time. When people say ‘it left me breathless’ it is almost always a cliché. With Lanny it was a physical symptom, breathlessness, heart palpitations, shaking. It really was that good. Not everyone will think that. It will not...
  • Joachim Stoop
    4,5The fact that...even in this outerworldly feast of wordsthrough gossip, blabla and the best and worst side of la condition humaine,over and under and around branches and leaves and mud,with wildness and linguistic wilderness blocking my view, thus only catching a glimpse,I could still love, really, realisticly love this little boy Lanny, a huge achievement by Porter. In kind of the same correlating mix of form, language, story, fable and...
  • Katia N
    I do not have time to write proper reviews at the moment, but just briefly - this is a wonderful little gem. I've picked it up in a bookshop and just could not put it down. It combines lightness and darkness, playfulness of language, but contains profound social observations as well. Thematically it is a trope explored recently in some other English novels - missing child and the reaction to the disappearance of a tight small village community. S...
  • Joanna Flis
    Yes, he did it again.
  • Laura
    This is one of those books that kind of moves inside you. It's as though the author breathed in oxygen and expelled this British village, warts and all, including a strange folktale character who kind of became the village itself. It's very hard to describe, but I encourage you to pick this book -- the actual, paper book -- up. The way the type is laid out on the page becomes part of the story. Symbols on the page are part of the story. There is ...
  • jeremy
    which do you think is more patient, an idea or a hope? the follow-up to his deservedly acclaimed debut, grief is a thing with feathers, max porter's lanny is a richly imagined, charming, and utterly enrapturing novel. mingling fantastic storytelling, wholly lovable (if flawed) characters, and the same empathy and depth of feeling that allowed his first novel to shine so brightly, lanny is both playful and profound. beauty is what, my semi-synthet...
  • Jaclyn Crupi
    Max Porter is as exciting and inventive a storyteller as George Saunders and Sarah Moss. He wants to tell us about the past and try to shed light on the confounding present. It’s miraculous.
  • LindaJ^
    I really enjoyed this quirky, little book. It tells the story of a small village, the resident magical creature - Dead Papa Toothwart, a small boy named Lanny, Lanny's mother, Lanny's father, and the old artist of some renown - Mad Pete - who becomes fast friends with Lanny. The story is quite complex. We learn, in quite experimental ways, what the townspeople are like through what they gossip about as heard by Dead Papa Toothwart. We learn about...
  • Robert Lukins
    Yep, it really is very, very good.
  • Sarah
    4.5 rounded down (for now)