The Guardian review

Beastings by Benjamin Myers – austere and brilliantly shocking

This chase across wildest Cumbria is as gruesome as it is compelling…

Benjamin Myers was the winner of the 2013 Northern Writers’ award, though it is worth noting that he only became a “northern writer” by default. Born in Durham, Myers headed south to spend 15 years as a music journalist, writing a novel about the Manic Street Preachers’ Richey Edwards and co-founding a punk literary movement, Brutalism, when mainstream publishers wouldn’t touch him.

Having moved to rural Yorkshire and struck up a relationship with the independent publishers Bluemoose, however, Myers seems to have reconnected with his natural voice. In 2012 he produced Pig Iron, a startlingly violent account of a young traveller on a Wearside estate, which was runner-up in the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize and won the inaugural Gordon Burn prize. The follow-up turns out to be even more uncompromising, as Myers fashions a climax so gruesome it leaves you feeling a little light-headed.

Read the full review here


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