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
    Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019I 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 overhe...
  • Marchpane
    Just flipping amazing.
  • Gumble's Yard
    Now re-read following its longlisting for the 2019 Booker; on a first read I predicted that this will be my favourite book of 2019 - alongside "Spring"; a second read only confirms my views. Will it win the Booker (or The Goldsmith), will it convinces those who seem to prefer books which celebrate cynicism and unpleasantness. Do I care, not really, as Pete says “Really though, a pox on every test and standard and criteria of normality that Lann...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • Lola
    This is an odd little book that I did not want to stop reading one second. It’s perplexing, confusing and creepy at times, but it has a fairytale-esque atmosphere that gives it a mystical quality, as though you’re lost in a forest, trying to find your way out of it, and the only way you can do that is by getting to the end of this story. It’s told from multiple POVs. Everyone but Lanny helps tell Lanny’s story. Except, while the focus is ...
  • 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.
  • ☽¸¸.I am¸¸.•*¨ The ¸¸.•*¨*Phoenix¨*•♫♪ ☾
    "Is this one of your endings?"Enchanting, creepy, magical, and in one word: different! This book, which reminded me of an adult version of "A monster calls", is a modern cautionary fairytale, a denounce of society's shameful thoughts, an analysts of humanity's affections and weaknesses, all wrapped up in a format which finds a sweet spot between poetry and prose, theater and myth. The story of young Lanny, a fairy child in the wilderness of a sma...
  • 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...
  • Meike
    Nominated for the Booker Prize 2019 Porter's sophomore novel is an experimental, metaphysical tale about childhood: Lanny is a kid with a wild imagination, a fearless urge to explore and a strong connection to the natural world. While his mother, a former actress, uses her creativity to write gruesome thrillers, and his father pursues money and power in the big city, Lanny loves to roam the village and to spend time with Pete, an elderly artist w...
  • 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 ...
  • Doug
    Spoilers ahead - do not read unless you've already read the book, or don't care about such.It won't surprise people who know how much I detested Porter's first dull book (and also the execrable and boring Reservoir 13, to which it bears more than a passing resemblance), that this also wasn't my cuppa. I had successfully avoided reading it until it made the Booker longlist, but then, as a completest, I had to succumb. The incomprehensible verbiage...
  • 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 ...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    While I didn’t love it, I could appreciate the experimental nature of the writing and the strong voices of the characters and the community. For a story that had such strong supernatural elements throughout, though, it had a somewhat pedestrian ending. 3.5⭐ While I didn’t love it, I could appreciate the experimental nature of the writing and the strong voices of the characters and the community. For a story that had such strong supernatu...
  • Canadian
    Lanny is a Wordsworthian child. Trailing clouds of glory, the school boy rises above the schoolyard fray: he is oblivious to bullying and petty classroom politics. Intuitive, even mystical, he is, according to his teacher, a joy to teach. Some in the village think of him in a less favourable light: he’s eccentric—freakish. He wanders about singing and spouting weird rhymes and gibberish, and—it is opined—he’s not being properly raised. ...
  • Trudie
    It‘s all a little creepy and fever-dreamy, possibly genius and yet a tiny bit "meh" in the end. He splits and wobbles, divides and reassembles, coughs up a plastic pot and a petrified condom, briefly pauses as a smashed fibreglass bath, stumbles and rips off the mask, feels his face and finds it made of long-buried tannic acid bottles. Victorian rubbish. I loved all this introductory stuff from Dead Papa Toothwort but I thought it lost somethi...
  • But_i_thought_
    Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019 and a strong contender to win.You know the experience — you read a book so immersive, so all-consuming, that you fail to take note of plot devices and character development — instead, you simply “disappear” into the novel. By the time you’ve reached the end, you’re not even sure how to review it. You just know you experienced something singular and divine.At its heart a deceptively simple story —...
  • Julie Ehlers
    What's this now? A poetic, insanely beautiful and innovative novel that's so creepy and suspenseful Stephen King would be proud to have written it? The story of Lanny was not as unique as Porter's earlier book, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, but it's so beautifully rendered and so much fun to read that for me it ultimately surpasses that book by a nose, specifically a piece of junkyard detritus attached to the face of a terrifying tree monster...
  • 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.
  • Maddie C.
    LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE, 2019. “Beauty is what, my semi-synthetic friend? Illness, decay and exploitation? A tapestry of small abuses, fights and littering” ‘Lanny’, Max Porter’s second novel, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and I realise I’m a bit late to the party, after so many people have read, reviewed and love it, but I was equally as excited to read as I was afraid. ‘Grief is a Thing With Feathers’, ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Richard Derus
    I sincerely believe I'm being generous with a three-star rating. Go see it on my blog because I just do not want to hear the snarking twidgees' mouths. Not in the mood, not in this lifetime.And the news is *excellent*: This book wasn't on the shortlist!
  • lucky little cat
    I hope Max Porter wins every prize out there for this one, an absolutely lovely tale about an odd-duck child, his bemused parents, Get thee to a garden, or better yet, go create somethingand his lovable old reprobate of an art tutor.Don't let the opening chapter discourage you. The chapter is brief and deliberately rambling (George Saunders-style) because its narrator is a Green Man-esque nature spirit. This being 2019, this is a garbage-coated ...
  • 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...
  • Will
    3.5, rather generously rounded up. Sorry, to all my GR friends who loved this one so much.
  • 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...
  • 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...