21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox

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Cox’s writing is loose-limbed, engaging and extremely funny, and time in his company is time very pleasantly spent. But what elevates this from a collection of essays into something more coherent and compelling are the currents that run beneath.
-Guardian

Synopsis

21st-Century Yokel explores the way we can be tied inescapably to landscape, whether we like it or not, often through our family and our past. It’s not quite a nature book, not quite a humour book, not quite a family memoir, not quite folklore, not quite social history, not quite a collection of essays, but a bit of all six.

It contains owls, badgers, ponies, beavers, otters, bats, bees, scarecrows, dogs, ghosts, Tom’s loud and excitable dad and, yes, even a few cats. It’s full of Devon’s local folklore – the ancient kind, and the everyday kind – and provincial places and small things. But what emerges from this focus on the small are themes that are broader and bigger and more definitive.

The book’s language is colloquial and easy and its eleven chapters are discursive and wide-ranging, rambling even. The feel of the book has a lot in common with the country walks Tom Cox was on when he composed much of it: it’s bewitched by fresh air, intrepid in minor ways, haunted by weather and old stories and the spooky edges of the outdoors, restless, sometimes foolish, and prone to a few detours... but it always reaches its intended destination.

The book is illustrated with Tom’s own landscape photographs and linocuts by his mother.
 

About Tom Cox

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Dewe is Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Head of the Organizational Psychology Department at Birkbeck College. MICHAEL P. LEITER, Ph.D., is vice president Academic and professor of psychology at Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is also the director of the Centre for Organizational Research & Development, a firm which does on-site surveys and organizational interventions to eliminate burnout and renew engagement.Christina Maslach, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the creator of the widely used psychological test instrument The Maslach Burnout Inventory. Leiter and Maslach are the authors of best-selling book The Truth About Burnout (Jossey-Bass, 1997). CHRISTINA MASLACH, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the creator of the widely used psychological test instrument The Maslach Burnout Inventory. Leiter and Maslach are the authors of best-selling book The Truth About Burnout (Jossey-Bass, 1997). Tom Cox’ s writing has appeared in the "Daily Telegraph," "Sunday Times," "Observer," "Mail on Sunday," "Jack" magazine, "The Times" and "The Guardian" for which paper he was Pop Critic between 1999 and 2000.
 
Published November 16, 2017 by Unbound Digital. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Sarah Crown on Dec 27 2017

Cox’s writing is loose-limbed, engaging and extremely funny, and time in his company is time very pleasantly spent. But what elevates this from a collection of essays into something more coherent and compelling are the currents that run beneath.

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