Treacle Walker (Hardcover)
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Shortlisted for the 2022 Booker Prize
An extraordinary, “playful, moving, and wholly remarkable” (The Guardian) coming-of-age novel filled with myth and magic from one of England's greatest living writers.
An introspective young boy, Joseph Coppock is trying to make sense of the world. Living alone in an old house, he spends his time reading comic books, collecting birds’ eggs, and playing with marbles. When one day a rag-and-bone man called Treacle Walker appears on a horse and cart, offering a cure-all medicine, a mysterious friendship develops and the young boy is introduced to a world beyond his wildest imagination.
Luminous, evocative, and sparely told, Treacle Walker is a stunning fusion of myth, folklore, and the stories we tell ourselves.
About the Author
Alan Garner is an English novelist best known for his fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. He was born in Cheshire in 1934 and his childhood was spent in Alderley Edge, where his family has lived for more than four hundred years. His fourth book, The Owl Service, won The Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, and was made into a TV series. It has established itself as a contemporary classic and Garner as a writer of distinction. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 for his services to literature.
“Playful, moving and wholly remarkable.” —The Guardian
“A charming fable about the convolutions of time and magic... the pleasure here is in the book's fresh, playful twisted vernacular, the way Garner uses English folklore and old-fashioned linguistic legerdemain to get at big ideas... alluring, elusive, and quick.” —Kirkus
“Creative and highly enjoyable... Somehow breathlessly paced without feeling rushed, this excellent novella features the trademark accents and dialogue found in Garner's tales throughout his career as well as wondrously evocative descriptions. This Italo Calvino-like feat of imagination is nourishing in the way all great stories are.” —Booklist
“Hypnotic and surreal…Garner blends accessible prose with elliptical references to Northern England mythology…alluring.” —Publishers Weekly
“A small miracle.” —New Statesman
“There’s mastery of craft, resonance and deep feeling on every page.” —The Telegraph
“Steeped in northern English myth and folklore.” —The New York Times Book Review
“One of these delightful books that I secretly wish I wrote.” —Marlon James
“Alan Garner is indisputably the great originator... I salute him with the most heartfelt respect and admiration.” —Philip Pullman
“Alan Garner’s fiction is something special.” —Neil Gaiman
“A marvel. It’s hard to think of anything quite like it. Not many books dream aloud and invite the reader into that dream. One of its odd, generous charms is that each time I returned to it to find where I’d left off, I wasn’t sure if the sentence would be there, or if I’d imagined it.” —BookPost USA
“A slim and powerful novel of memory, mortality, and landscape.” —Tor.com