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The Devil’s Highway

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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Three journeys. Three thousand years. One destination. The Devil’s Highway is a thrilling, epic and intimate tale of love, loss, fanaticism, heroism and sacrifice.

A Roman road, an Iron Age hill fort, a hand-carved flint, and a cycle of violence that must be broken.

An ancient British boy, discovering a terrorist plot, must betray his brother to save his tribe. In the twenty
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Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 25th 2018 by Fourth Estate
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 ·  97 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Paul
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2018
Andagin is hunting across a heathland in the south of Roman Britain two thousand years ago, but he is about to discover something that threatens him and his communities safety and means that he will have to betray a family member.

Two millennia later, two troubled men have a differing opinion over the same landscape that Andagin and the Roman occupiers once walked. Aitch, haunted by the effects of war wants to use it as he sees fit and Robbie's father struggling to cope with the fallout from a di
...more
Pickle Farmer
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was excellent! An ambitious novel - we get three timelines: ancient Briton, the present day, and a futuristic Mad Max-esque landscape in which England has gone to shit and is burning alive (thanks global warming!). I was reminded of Game of Thrones, The Buried Giant and Ridley Walker (which I haven't read). The ecological themes reminded me of "Beast" by Paul Kingsworth (another excellent book). Other themes include human connection to the land, what made Britons different from Romans (foun ...more
Sam Law
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Three Journeys. One Road.

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At just over 220 pages, a timeline from approximately the first century AD through present-day to a future date (say five hundred years from now), and located firmly around Bagshot Heath in Surrey, UK, The Devil’s Highway aims to give a picture of slow degradation in both civilisation and environment.

There are three strands to the story, for the three slices of time, each with its own strong characters, but the constant back
...more
John Fulton
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Roman road from London to Silchester - Londinium to Calleva Atrebatum - forms the spine of Gregory Norminton's novel, and, as The Devil's Highway, provides its title. Along this road, across three different time periods, stories of conflict and family play out.

First we have a story of Roman Britain, where a boy discovers his people are planning to strike back at the Romans - a futile act that can end only in retribution from their imperial occupiers. In the present day, a soldier back from A
...more
Eleanor
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: histfic, sff
The Devil's Highway is not a long book, but it is a full one, resonant with history and myth. Bouncing back and forth between three time periods—Roman Britain, the present day, and a far future of harsh drought and a return to brutality—it stays focused on one place: Bagshot Heath, in Surrey. Here, a young Celt, Andragin, tries to barter for mercy for his brothers by delivering a kidnapped decurion back to his legion; here, Harry, a soldier just back from Afghanistan, bumps into a young girl who ...more
Rym Kechacha
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ambitious and bold in form and language, I love this kind of novel; engaging in deep time, not just one human lifespan. The section set in the future, with its unique language was probably the strongest for me, with the section set in Roman Britain the next strongest. I wanted it to be longer (which I think is the ultimate compliment to a book perhaps?!) and I wanted to know the characters even better, particularly those of the present day timeline, as I felt there was maybe more to be explored ...more
Donald
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this hard to get into, for such a short book. The future section is written in an incomprehensible patois that really needed concentration to make sense of. I liked the three stories, with a road, and an Earth Mother totem linking them, it was an interesting concept, Roman Britain, current-ish England with climate change taking hold, drought and fire risks, and then the future, hot, desert Mad Max style England where civilisation has broken down, with the return of tribalism and slavery. ...more
Danielle Knights
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting but difficult to follow at times. Ending was a bit abrupt and that sort of shocked me... the stories kinda fizzled out one by one. That said, I understood the motif of the cyclical nature of how we all experience our own version of now and our connection to the landscapes we inhabit. I enjoyed that. Well worth the read and at times hard to put down! Only the ending lets it down and a few unanswered questions.
Roo
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three journeys on the same road, each one a thousand years apart. The stories intertwine through the book, which was well written, although the patois of the future times required concentration to follow at times.
JoeyHatesJazz
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Reminiscent of Alan Garner’s Red Shift and Russell Hoban’s Ridley Walker.
lane
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars, au, period
went nowhere again. idk what the style of book is calld when it just narrates ppls lives but dear god ! not for me
Malcolm Balster
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interestingly compelling book. Three seemingly unrelated but totally related stories
Nicole Sweeney
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

This is a fascinating little book that explores three different journeys at different time periods. At just over two hundred pages that’s quite a lot of ground to cover, but this short read is well paced and full of history and imagination. Spanning across three thousand years, all three perspectives have one destination in mind: The Devil’s Highway.

The three different time settings show life in Britain at completely different times. One is
...more
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Gregory Norminton is a writer and environmentalist born in Berkshire in 1976. Educated at Wellington College, he read English at Regent's Park College, Oxford and studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.He presently lives in Edinburgh. ...more

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