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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,054 ratings  ·  223 reviews
The remote island village of Neverness is a world far from our time and place.

The air hangs rich with the coconut-scent of gorse and the salty bite of the sea. Harsh winds scour the rocky coastline. The villagers' lives are inseparable from nature and its enchantments.

Verlyn Webbe, born with a wing for an arm, unfurls his feathers in defiance of past shame; Plum is
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published February 8th 2018 by Bloomsbury UK
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,054 ratings  ·  223 reviews

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Amalia Gavea
Listen, for the beat that runs through the gorce maze. It is an early twilight, the opening between last sun and first star, the door of the day closing until, soon, night will seal it shut. There are feet thudding in the gorces winding tunnels, hearts thumping in time. The girls of Neverness are running the paths, the strings of their bows held taut in outstretched hands, their arrows trembling.

Initially, my relationship with Folk was rather stormy. I requested it on Edelweiss and I received
I was so very much looking forward to this; I even featured it on my list of most anticipated books. This collection of connected short stories is steeped in myth and folktale and set on an island with an absolutely gorgeous cover how could I not read this? This sounds like absolute perfection. And the writing is lyrical and the atmosphere haunting. But it is also disjointed and lacks a sufficient emotional punch to be the great book it could have been.

As is normal with short story collections,
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore
This is set in the fictional village of Neverness, located on an island loosely based on the Isle of Man. Folklore and tradition is at the heart of the novel and there is a re-working of traditional themes. Although it is billed as a novel, it is really a linked collection of short stories. One of these stories won the Costa short story award in 2014. Interestingly there is no religion and religious imagery in the traditional sense. There is plenty of superstition, which is culturally important ...more
RTC, but first I need to think for a bit.

Prick Song - 4/5
Bittersweet, and rather short... Hard to get a proper feel about the story when it's only 14 pages long, but that, I think, will be the beauty of this collection of connected stories.

Fishskin, Hareskin - 3.5/5
Heartbreaking as we watch the main character battle with post-partum issues and the residue of what is clearly an unhappy childhood. 12 pages long.

The Neverness Ox-men - 4/5
I found this one quite sweet and fun, and I really hope these
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Folk tells the story of the island of Neverness, steeped in folk myths, where girls can be snatched by water bulls, and babes are born with wings.

Every chapter is told by a different character, some from different generations, and each with their own story to tell. In this sense it's almost like a collection of short stories put together in a more cohesive manner than normal. They're all linked by the mythology of the island, and
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Jan 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This was a short story collection!!! The blurb definitely didn't sound like that. I really wish it was clearer in the blurb.I discussed with a few fellow readers who were eager about the book but they didn't realise it was a collection of stories either when they read the blurb. The book was one of my highly anticipated reads of this year. Because Hello awesome blurb and hello beautiful cover!

But Folk did not capture my interest as I thought it would. Firstly, I was disoriented with the first
Renee Godding
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2 stars

How to describe Folk?
Not only is that question pretty hard to answer, its also my main problem with this novel. This review is bound to be about as disjointed as the book, so I apologize in advance.
Admittedly I had heard mostly mixed to negative reviews about it, yet the premise sounded awesome enough that I was really hoping to be the unpopular opinion on this one. Unfortunately, I agreed with most of the reviews I had seen, and was left with the same questions others were
Hiu Gregg
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was... an experience, for sure.

Folk is a collection of short-stories set on the island of Neverness. Each of these short stories reads like a short folk tale, and every so often they interweave. The characters of these tales range from children to adults, and every story is a little weird and strange in that way that folk tales tend to be. Characters from one tale may appear or be mentioned in another, but despite
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Firstly, this has one of the best designed covers Ive seen in recent years- stark and bright at once, it demands attention. Not only that, it well reflects the inside- its detailed and layered nature.

Secondly, the stories. After being seduced by the jacket, I wanted to love the contents, but the multiplicity of tales did not add up to a truly affecting whole. The language and the imagery are beautiful, sometimes magical, but it felt too distant to provoke any kind of emotional response. I
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic-spells, kindle
3.5 stars

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Folk is a beautiful collection of short stories all set on a slightly mystical island called Neverness.

Im not a huge connoisseur of short stories so I did go into this one with some trepidation but I just knew it was something I had to give a chance to, and Im so glad I did.

I really loved the slightly creepy feeling of the book - as if the land was about to come alive
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Utterly captivating, Folk by Zoe Gilbert takes the form of connected short stories, and is about the inhabitants of a slightly fantastical island called Neverness. The folklore and legends are as real as the hardships of life in this remote, windswept place.

The stories build on each other, so that a character who appears as a child might return as a adult later on, and the events of one tale can recur as an urban legend in another. This structure works brilliantly to create a sense of the way
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Borrowed from my local library's audiobook service!

Folk was such a confusing listen, yet the narrator was absolutely brilliant and saved me from a DNF. It is a collection of short stories, which after two hours of listening and then reading other reviews, it wasn't clear that Folk was not a novel. It is dark, haunting and dream-like but for the majority of the storyline, I wasn't gripped as much as I would have liked. Fairytales is something that deeply interests me but this is one that won't be
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
First of all, I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book that requires a pinch of patience. To be perfectly honest, it took me quite a while to get into it, but by the time I turned the last page, I had been absolutely bewitched by the incredible world Zoe Gilbert wove into being throughout the novel.

Before I go any further, it's also worth noting that this book is structurally and conceptually unlike
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lena by: Goldsboro Book of the Month
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"Theres a tale for every kind of trouble..."

Fabulous interrelated collection of mythic fantasy stories. If you enjoyed Jim Hensons The Storyteller you will love the tales of Neverness.

Prick Song ★★★★☆
Boys run deep into the thorned forest to find the arrows cast by their lady loves. Kisses and honor are the prizes for their wounds. But the goddess of the gorse chase only notices the boy cut the deepest...

Fishskin, Hareskin ★★★★☆
A postpartum depression story that got to me. Not every woman
A brilliant read to start 2018. Folk is a collection of short stories (I've seen a few reviews describe Folk as a novel, perhaps it's being marketed as such?) centered on the inhabitants of a village called Neverness. Zoe Gilbert's stories are the perfect balance of weird and twisted but not so removed from reality that they feel unbelievable. I loved the structure of the book, it's not something I've seen done before in a short story collection. Each tale is inextricably linked to another. Each ...more
Elaine Mullane
Folk is a collection of connected short stories set in the isolated island village of Neverness. The stories of the lives of the islanders are connected, each chapter told from the point of view of a different character. They interleave and overlap creating a tapestry of magical and mysterious tales, the most prevalent being about family, love and loss.

The stories are reminiscent of fairy tales and Classical myths, as well as folklore and urban legends. A water bull kidnaps a young girl and
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Poetic short stories taking place in imaginary land of Neverness. It reminded me a bit of Angela Carter when I started reading and I got excited but unfortunately I found it difficult to engage with the text and ended up not finishing after reading 40% of the book.

There are too many characters and events going on but the setting and characters didn't take form in my head. It was impossible for me to keep reading without being able to materialise characters, places that was told on the pages.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf, 2019
I need to create a shelf that's called "writing goals" and it'll just be this book
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent - reminds me of Alan Garners Alderley Edge books and Always Coming Home. Hollowing out British folk traditions and finding something new inside them ...more
Christina Reid
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Strange, magical and unsettling-full review now here:
This book was made up of short stories that were loosely conected. Same town , same group of families but different stories and different generations. Part fantasy and part historical fiction, it is hard to categorise. The writing was beautiful taken sentence by sentence but for me, it didn't really gel into a whole, having said that, I'm not a short story fan so maybe I was just the wrong audience. I'm glad I read it as it was unusual and beautiful but over all probably 3.5 star read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ive just finished Folk, and the first thing I want to say is that I think its very important to take the book as it is. Like many of the reviews here, it took me a few chapter to figure out the layout of the story - the blurb makes it seem as though its a novel, when in fact its a short story collection. The stories all take place on the island of Neverness and the each chapter focusses on a different set of characters. Some characters reappear in later stories, and time progresses as the book ...more
Elle Maruska
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is perhaps the most beautiful book I have read in a very long time.

Starting with the cover it's a stunning collection of the magic and mystery of every day life, a love letter to the cycles of seasons and years and time, a collection of stories about a village and its people, a place that might never have existed and yet seems as real and immediate as my own hometown. Gilbert's prose is sparkling, breathing, singing and sobbing all at once; she writes of nature and humanity like she's
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story of Folk is set on an enchanting mythical island called Neverness. Zoe Gilbert has created a fairy tale world which steeps in mythology & folklore. Magic can bless or curse in equal measure here. A girl can be snatched by a water bull and dragged to his lair or a baby can born with a wing for an arm or children can ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character. Somehow their lives are always inseparably intertwined with island ...more
Pauliina (The Bookaholic Dreamer)
This was so magical, weird and captivating.

Folk is a collection of intertwined short stories set in a small village, Neverness, where strange things happen.
Unfortunately I can't recommend the audiobook as the narrator does pretty annoying voices for the different characters and it is hard to tell when a story ends and a new one begins.
I'm eager to reread this one in print sometime soon! Sooooo gooooood!
Owain Talfryn
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really loved this. A collection of beautifully written, dark, interconnected fairy tales reminiscent of Angela Carter but distinctive enough to hold its own. With the passing of seasons, initial bursts of violence and sensuality give way to something fleeting and profoundly melancholic. Definitely a book I will return to.
Owen Townend
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am not usually one for gothic folktales but this collection had me intrigued from the first. In the village of Neverness, traditions are both resilient and tenacious, leading the inhabitants to macabre revelations about life, love, beauty, madness and the hereafter. It is a place where first kisses are found in a hunt through the gorse then stolen by pin-pricked lips. It is a place where fiddles are formed from natural environments which strike a unique chord. It is a place where spirits can ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started off being very challenging for me. The English language in which is written is highly advanced for my level of English. There were plenty of unknown words which I left unknown since I didn't feel they stopped my understanding and they were plenty I had to look up. Eventhough the language was difficult it felt very lyrical that made me at times read aloud to myself. I really enjoyed the actual act of reading it. Also, I do feel linguisticly a little bit more rich. I appreciated ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
i had high hopes for this book, and even giving the writing a bit to acclimatize i couldn't go on... not sure where the disconnect is, but the interlinking tales never grabbed me... quite hard to accustom myself to the writing style, and i have read plenty that is non-standard fare... this jut seemed really shallow/surface-riding, like there was another book somewhere with all the details that i was expected to have read and just can't seem to find... anywhere... i "get" the folk-thing, and the ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: author Zoe Gilbert 2 13 Dec 14, 2018 07:47AM  

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