Beast by Paul Kingsnorth

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The effect is one of compelling immediacy as Kingsnorth recounts what it is to live in a time and place that is crumbling at the edges. A tour de force, reminiscent of the best of John Fowles and David Mitchell.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The stunning new novel from the prize-winning author of The Wake.

'Come to a place like this . . . and you will understand soon enough that this world is a great animal, alive and breathing.'

Beast plunges you into the world of Edward Buckmaster, a man alone on a west-country moor. What he has left behind we don't yet know; what he faces is an existential battle with himself, the elements, and something that he begins to see in the margins of his vision ...

Beast is a vivid exploration of isolation, courage, and the search for truth. Shocking and exhilarating, it confirms Paul Kingsnorth as one of our most daring and rewarding contemporary writers.

 

About Paul Kingsnorth

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Paul Kingsnorth is the author of The Wake and Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist. He is cofounder of the Dark Mountain Project, a global network of writers, artists, and thinkers in search of new stories for a world on the brink.
 
Published July 5, 2016 by Faber & Faber. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Beast
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 15 2017

The effect is one of compelling immediacy as Kingsnorth recounts what it is to live in a time and place that is crumbling at the edges. A tour de force, reminiscent of the best of John Fowles and David Mitchell.

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Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Tobias Carroll on Jul 28 2017

Much of the power of “Beast” emerges from Kingsnorth’s juxtaposition of stylized language — sometimes rapturous, sometimes fragmented — with descriptions of a harsh landscape.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Suzi Feay on Jul 29 2016

The bare-bones text is fleshed out with allusions and traces of other works. Echoing William Blake’s dictum...

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Tadzio Koelb on Sep 15 2017

The association is loose enough that presumably each volume can stand alone. Kingsnorth’s latest features a variation on the same protagonist a millennium later, in the present day.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Anita Sethi on Jul 11 2016

Linguistically experimental, the narrative is adept at expressing experience “so hard to put into words”, capturing what it’s like to feel “broken in this broken place”, and emotions as “dark and roiling” as the weather.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by M John Harrison on Jul 01 2016

To read Beast is a joy. Prose and gaze are inseparable, and Kingsnorth’s gaze is so intense it forces a similar intensity from the reader.

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