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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  12,066 ratings  ·  1,693 reviews

Fresh and distinctive writing from an exciting new voice in fiction, Elmet is an unforgettable novel about family, as well as a beautiful meditation on landscape.

Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned sour and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them with his bare hands.

Paperback, 311 pages
Published August 10th 2017 by JM Originals
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,066 ratings  ·  1,693 reviews

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Angela M
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

The writing is beautiful. I found myself rereading many passages because I wanted to see or feel what is described again. The writing is lyrical with amazingly visual descriptions of this rural area in the woods in the north of England. There's such a sense of place and I always hesitate to call a book atmospheric not wanting to overuse the term, but it is the best description I can come up. Yet, if I didn't know I was reading a novel taking place in northern England, I would have tho
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful and lyrically written piece of Gothic Noir, drawing on the ancient area of Celtic Elmet, comprising West Riding in Yorkshire, Ted Hughes's 'badlands' providing sanctuary to those on the run, and the folklore surrounding Robin Hood. The narrative is from the point of view of a 14 year old Daniel. Daniel, his sister, Cathy and their larger than life father, John, referred to as Daddy, relocate to a rustic area that their mother had come from. They had resided with their grandmo ...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Elmet by Fiona Mozley is a 2017 Algonquin Books publication.

This debut novel, shortlisted for the coveted Booker Prize, is an absorbing, intense novel of suspense, which draws from the mini-trend of highlighting the lives of those living ‘off grid’, hand to mouth, shunning the traditional life embraced by most people.

Cathy and Daniel live with their father, a prize fighter, in the rural woods of Yorkshire. Cathy is practical, smart, and insightful, while Daniel is a sensitive child who enjoys d
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was the only genuine surprise on this year's Booker longlist, a first novel by a young British writer. I would be very happy to see this book make the shortlist - there may be at least six better books on the longlist but none of them would benefit as much from the exposure, and this is a promising debut by a talented writer.

This was the most unexpectedly welcome inclusion on the shortlist. Very disappointed to lose Reservoir 13, Home Fire and Solar Bones

Mozley is studying medieval h
Larry H
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Fiona Mozley's Elmet is one of the most lyrical, atmospheric books I've read in some time. The descriptions of this area of rural Yorkshire, and the environment that surrounds the main characters, are tremendously poetic and vivid, yet Mozley doesn't use more words than necessary to get the mood or her story across. It's almost as if she strove for a simple, no-nonsense tone befitting her salt-of-the-earth characters.

In the book's epigraph from Ted Hughes, we learn that Elmet was "the last i
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Five big, bold stars and the perfect book to buddy read. On my favorites shelf! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

With Elmet, Fiona Mozley has written a literary masterpiece. At first, the reader learns that Elmet is a sanctuary, a strip of land viewed as a safe haven and with Celtic history. This is where Daniel, his Daddy, and his sister, Cathy, land. The father, flanked by his two children, and living in a small copse, builds the home with his own hands. Living off the land, they are choosing life on their own terms
Diane S ☔
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elmet, a place of sanctuary, and for Cathy, Danny and their father, for a short while it was. They built on land their mother had once owned, but did no longer, near a copse and woods. They hunted,fished and used whatever the land provided. They didn't have much but they were happy, basically content. The descriptions of this natural setting are glorious, beautifully done,the changing seasons,

"Spring that came with a rush of color, a blanket of light, u filling insects and absent, missed prodiga
Amalia Gkavea
''I spend an evening laid out on a moor, watching the wind, the crows, the distant vehicles caught in memories of this same land, further south; earlier, another time; then likewise caught in memories of home, of family, of the shifts and turns in fortune, of beginnings and endings, of caused and consequences.''

A family of three lives in a copse in Yorkshire. A father, a boy and a girl. Isolated, forgotten and forgetting, no mother, no friends, extremely limited human contact. John earns his
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

”We arrived in summer when the landscape was in full bloom and the days were long and hot and the light was soft. I roamed shirtless and sweated cleanly and enjoyed the hug of the thick air. In those months I picked up freckles on my bony shoulders and the sun set slowly and the evenings were pewter before they were black, before the mornings seeped through again. Rabbits gamboled in the fields and when we were lucky, when the wind was still and a veil settled on the hills, we saw a
Modern-day Robin Hood?

Before diving into this review, I must first remove my feathered cap and present a deep, old fashioned nose-to-toe bow out of respect for Fiona Mozley, who has written a truly gorgeous novel. If this is her first book, I'm genuinely excited to see what else she has in that magnificent mind.

Mozley's story takes place in Yorkshire country, in England's beautiful north. Fourteen year old Daniel and his older sister Cathy have moved to Elmet, a piece of land that used to b
ALL THE STARS! I LOVED this. It took me two days to finish the last 35 pages because I dreaded, absolutely DREADED what was coming. I knew this probably wasn't going to end well for the family at the heart of this story - father John ("Daddy"), son Daniel and daughter Cathy - and I just didn't want to let go of them or their story. (P.S. No spoilers here; you will learn as much reading the synopsis of the novel on its dust cover.)

This is the most Ron Rash-y book ever NOT written by Ron Rash."Elm
(4.5) Shortlisted for the Booker Prize!

The dark horse in this year’s Man Booker Prize race is a brilliant, twisted fable about the clash of the land-owning and serf classes in contemporary England. I’d love to see it win, though George Saunders seems like a shoo-in. You’d hardly believe it’s a debut novel, or that it’s by a 29-year-old PhD candidate in medieval history. The epigraph from Ted Hughes defines “Elmet” as an ancient Celtic kingdom encompassing what is now West Yorkshire. The word sti
Elmet is a promising debut novel, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Mozley can write some beautiful prose, some of the descriptions were resplendent.

The other parts of the novel though, such as the characterisations and the plot, weren't so well done.
The novel is narrated by the teenager Daniel, who lives with his older sister, Cathy, and their giant father, John Smythe. They are outsiders, mostly hunters and gatherers, building their own home on a plot somewhere in Yorkshire.

I ne
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: published-2017
I'm afraid it's a no from me. I might be a little less severe in my criticism if this hadn't been nominated for the Booker. But that fact heightened my expectation. I couldn't help feeling that if this can make the Booker shortlist you can make a case for almost any novel to be there. I felt she got the idea for writing this book after seeing that Guy Ritchie film with Brad Pitt. I guess it's a kind of Robin Hood fable but any deeper meaning it had escaped me. A notorious prize fighter builds hi ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A first novel from not too far from where I live and closer still to where I was born and I recognise the landscape. Elmet was shortlisted for last year’s Man Booker prize. The title itself is redolent of the area which used to be the old Celtic kingdom of Elmet, which covered much of what is now Yorkshire. The last remnants are now place names such as Sherburn-in-Elmet. There is also a nod to Ted Hughes’s work The Remains of Elmet. For a first novel this is very good and Mozley was also brought ...more
Cathrine ☯️
What did I just read?
A Man-Booker short-listed nominee that did not live up to the teeth gritting that often ensues when I take one on.
At times I was sure this was set in the American South even though from the outset it is made clear the setting is Yorkshire with its history of legend and medieval history. It morphed into different territories— fairy tale, coming of age, good vs evil. One reviewer described it as “shape-shifting” and I like that.
There’s vernacular— “doendt” for doesn’
Peter Boyle
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: booker-nominee
One of the things I like most about the Booker Prize is the way it can shine a light on unknown writers. Elmet was a surprise entry on this year's longlist, and it caused further upset by making the final six at the expense of much acclaimed novels such as The Underground Railroad and Solar Bones. So is this brooding debut deserving of its shortlist status, and can it go on and win the whole thing?

The story is set in rural Yorkshire. Daniel Oliver is our narrator, a teenager who lives in a field
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read, 2017-mbp, uk
A young woman pursuing a PhD in medieval history writes a tale dominated by Southern Gothic elements, but situated in rural Britian, circling around themes like possession, belonging, gender, and revenge - wow, what a set-up!

"Elmet" is narrated by a teenage boy named Daniel, who lives with his father John and his sister Cathy in a house they built with their own hands. Although the narrated time is not specified, the story does obviously take place in our modern days, in the realm of what used
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

It’s only mid-April and I’m already terrifyingly behind on reviews so I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet:

1. I read this because Vivian told me to and I don’t believe she has ever told me to read something before in the history of our friendship.

2. It was a Man Booker Prize shortlister, so it’s a teensie bit smarty farty and the author knows how to words good.

3. You really have to like reading about a place because a bigly chunk of
In hindsight, the resonance of this dark and fierce debut on the stage of world literature should have been the warning bell that the #MeToo movement was about to extract its penalty. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2017, this novel’s strengths are in describing a natural world that seems almost untouched in its primitiveness, a world that one would swear were long gone.

A family of father, daughter, and son builds their own dwelling on land passed on by a long-dead wife and mother. A wea
I liked this as a novel far more than the essex serpent, I think because Mozley is here very focused on the story that she wants to tell and everything works towards that while I felt that Sarah Perry was really relaxing in the essex serpent and allowing in all kinds of elements and stories which was very generous of her but diluted her novel for me to the point that I don't know which story she actual wanted to tell (view spoiler) and while Elmet is ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
This book had elements that reminded me of His Bloody Project and Eileen. It tells the story of Daniel, the narrator, and his sister, Cathy, who live in a house they build on land that isn't theirs with their 'Daddy.' He is affectionately referred to as 'Daddy' throughout the story which is juxtaposed by his burliness and willingness to fight for his family when necessary. The characters are well drawn, especially the main 3, and the story finds meaning in their conflict over land ownership, i ...more
Wow. Holy Crackerdoodles!

Bold and filled with images that are burnt into my psyche. Fierce, outside the box and filled with people who won't live in them. Others, not part of the system and no desire to be part of it. Only wanting to live honestly, in peace. But, there's always people who are waiting to take advantage, to play the game, manipulate it for gain.

This is no happy story. There is nothing but grit and determination and the price.

"We all grow into our coffins, Danny. And I saw mys
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Audiobook narrated by Gareth Bennett Ryan 7h 37min

Although it took me a little while to acclimatize to the first person narrative, Elmet is definitely one of those literary entries that sneaks up on a person. The novel when placed on the ManBooker shortlist in 2017 was viewed by some to be the "wild card" entry. Eventually, George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo would walk away with the title, but this little debut novel certainly deserves attention for its dark p
Jenny (Reading Envy)
When I saw this book on the Man Booker Prize long list, I ordered it from the UK. It sounded like just my thing and had a beautiful cover! My expectations weren't met, exactly, but I still think I would read whatever the author did next. Some of the observations she had other characters make, like when Vivien compares their father to a whale, were rather thought-provoking and unique.

The only other page I marked is a few chapters later, when the narrator is reflecting on the whale analogy after
Britta Böhler
An amazing debut. 4.5*
Roman Clodia
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Raw and powerful, but uneven throughout, this short, explosive tale is best read in a single sitting to get the most from the build-up of atmosphere, and to avoid the breaking of the spell which allows disbelief to enter.

Mozley has a heightened style of prose, a bit Wuthering Heights with its insertions of dialect and mythic landscape, a bit Ted Hughes (witness the title) as his most epic and self-conscious. The whole thing builds to an orgy of violence that we've been waiting for from the star
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Goodreads Librari...: please add edition 3 18 May 17, 2021 01:44AM  
Similar books 1 1 Mar 02, 2021 03:02AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page count correction - Elmet 3 16 Sep 22, 2018 07:36PM  
Bailey's/Orange W...: July 2018 Elmet 9 26 Aug 19, 2018 02:29PM  
ManBookering: Elmet by Fiona Mozley 16 185 Dec 11, 2017 06:15PM  
The Mookse and th...: 2017 Shortlist: Elmet 60 125 Oct 09, 2017 06:01PM  

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Fiona Mozley grew up in York and went to King's College, Cambridge, after which she lived in Buenos Aires and London. She is studying for a PhD in medieval history. Elmet is her first novel and it has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. ...more

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16 likes · 2 comments
“We all grow into our coffins, Danny. And I saw myself growing into mine.” 13 likes
“It wasn’t all that wonderful, all the time. Those men who would come together so naturally to support one another would go home drunk and beat their wives.” Ewart was caught for a moment. Vivien continued. “There are dreams, Ewart, and there are memories. And there are memories of dreams.” 5 likes
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