It’s a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox, published in paperback by Unbound on 21st March but also available in a range of other formats. Having so enjoyed Tom’s short story collection, Help the Witch (you’ll find my review here), I really wish I could have fitted this one into my reading list – described as a unique blend of nature writing and memoir, longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2018, and one of Unbound’s fastest ever funded titles (seven hours)- but it sadly wasn’t to be. With thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours, the author and the publishers, instead I’m offering the chance for a UK reader to win a copy of the paperback.
Let’s take a closer look…
21st-Century Yokel is not quite nature writing, not quite a family memoir, not quite a book about walking, not quite a collection of humorous essays, but a bit of all five.
Thick with owls and badgers, oak trees and wood piles, scarecrows and ghosts, and Tom Cox’s loud and excitable dad, this book is full of the folklore of several counties – the ancient kind and the everyday variety – as well as wild places, mystical spots and curious objects. Emerging from this focus on the detail are themes that are broader and bigger and more important than ever.
Tom’s writing treads a new path, one that has a lot in common with a rambling country walk; it’s bewitched by fresh air and big skies, intrepid in minor ways, haunted by weather and old stories and the spooky edges of the outdoors, restless and prone to a few detours, but it always reaches its destination in the end.
I very much like some of the praise I’ve read for this one too:
’21st-Century Yokel is just a glorious book – funny and wry and wise, and utterly its own lawmaker … It makes me wish that Tom had been able to go river-swimming with Roger Deakin, one of the other great comic voices of modern British “nature writing” – and that I’d been paddling along behind them, listening in to the conversation’ Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks
‘A rich, strange, oddly glorious brew’ Guardian
‘Simultaneously the funniest and saddest book about the modern countryside that I know’ John Lewis-Stempel, author of Meadowlands
‘Like a British David Sedaris dedicated to a rural way of life, Tom Cox crafts funny and poignant stories out of observations and interactions – except his observations are of trees and his interactions are with squirrels’ AV Club
And you might have seen some great reviews as part of the ongoing tour…
So, let me offer you the chance to win a paperback copy (UK only). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Tom Cox is has 70k followers on Twitter and 25k on Instagram, and is also the man behind the enormously popular Why My Cat is Sad account, which has 300k followers. He is also the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller The Good, The Bad And The Furry. Tom lives in The Peak District and writes about – amongst many other subjects – nature, folklore, music and books on his voluntary subscription website, having quit writing for traditional media outlets entirely in 2015.