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4.48  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  61 reviews
There’s a village sixty miles outside London. It’s no different from many other villages in England: one pub, one church, red-brick cottages, council cottages and a few bigger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might do anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs.

This village belongs to the people who live in it and to the
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by Faber & Faber
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  339 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Just flipping amazing.
Eric Anderson
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s difficult to describe the experience of reading Max Porter’s new novel “Lanny”, but it feels somewhere between “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor and an Ali Smith novel. In some ways it’s a simple story of family life in a small English village where a child goes missing. But it’s also about ancient elemental forces which periodically cause widespread chaos and test all the moral fibres which we believe hold our society together. Parents Robert and Jolie want their young son Lanny to develop hi ...more
Max Porter is a genius.

There is absolutely no way I can think as to how to review or even describe this book. It's pure emotion. Each word has meaning. I cried at the way simple words were put together to form these sentences that just tore their way into my heart. It's contemporary, it's fable, it's dark, it's painful, it's hopeful, it's true. It's unlike anything else. It's simply breathtaking.

"Which do you think is more patient, an idea or a hope?"

Four and a half stars rounded up to five.
Joanna Flis
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, he did it again.
Jaclyn Crupi
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Max Porter is as exciting and inventive a storyteller as George Saunders and Sarah Moss. He wants to tell us about the past and try to shed light on the confounding present. It’s miraculous.
Tom Mooney
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely superb. Playful, insightful, magical and subtle. A brilliant depiction of village life as well as a gripping story. It's hard to say too much more about it without giving spoilers.

Imagine Broadchurch rewritten by George Saunders and Cynan Jones.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
which do you think is more patient, an idea or a hope?
the follow-up to his deservedly acclaimed debut, grief is a thing with feathers, max porter's lanny is a richly imagined, charming, and utterly enrapturing novel. mingling fantastic storytelling, wholly lovable (if flawed) characters, and the same empathy and depth of feeling that allowed his first novel to shine so brightly, lanny is both playful and profound.
beauty is what, my semi-synthetic friend? illness, decay and exploitation? a tap
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
4.5 rounded down (for now)
Kate Wyver
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feel like there's some kinda rule on not writing too much about proofs, but will say I am aleady looking forward to reading it again.

Grief is a hard thing to follow, but he has such a spectacular way of storytelling on the page - and you can kind of see him thinking it through as his style evolves past and rotates back to grief.

But I do think I'd find it more impressive/enchanting if I hadn't already read Lincoln In The Bardo/ Alice Birch plays etc.
Callum McAllister
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not as linguistically playful as Grief is the Thing With Feathers, but a lot more affecting. A much more addictive read. Porter is a very clever writer.

Full review to come elsewhere.
Chris Haak
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just love Lanny! Lanny, the book AND Lanny, the boy. He is such a wonderful kid: smart, funny, curious, strange, original, and sweet.

When reading the cover, I didn't really get what the book would be about. It all sounded so vague and odd. And then there's the Dead Papa Toothwort character, a figure from local legend, changing shapes all the time. Yes, the book is mythical and odd, but it's also so interesting and original! It's beautifully written with fabulous sounding sentences, it's very
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A primer on the power of the English language in all its messy, glorious inventiveness. With a compelling story at the heart of it, Magical and mundane, weird and unexpectedly funny. Once you've keyed into the voices you won't want to stop hearing them.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Opening lines: ‘Dead Papa Toothwort wakes from his standing nap an acre wide and scrapes off dream dregs of bitumen glistening thick with liquid globs of litter.’
(Uncorrected proof copy read before publication.)

Fucking magical.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I can articulate properly how much I loved this book. Porter is the kind of confident, creative and capable writer that I wish I was. He uses the same lyrical, rhythmic prose as Grief, but this doesn't make Lanny feel like more of the same - it's a stunning work, and I'm still reeling from it and I cannot explain how great it is. It just is.
Steph Mckenna
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell, I loved it.
Paul Mabbott
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought a version of this book signed by the author, and found the signature to be little more than a squiggle. Having read the book I'm not surprised by this as I'm no longer sure he can actually write.

Now don't get me wrong, the premise and the story itself were promising. Parts WERE enjoyable, the feeling of village life was evoked well, and the character of Toothwort was intriguing (although he did not feature nearly enough for my liking).

However, this book was extremely difficult to real
Jessica Hinton
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uea-lit-fest
How to even begin a review for this book...? Porter writes like no-one I've ever read before, that's for sure. This will be a much easier review if you have already read his debut novel, the acclaimed 'Grief is the thing with feathers' - for stylistically, at least, Lanny is quite similar. Lanny is part poetry, part prose; it's lyrical, beautiful but confounding. The imagery is so powerful and the style so unique. This is not traditional storytelling, at least not in the way that you might expec ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
my own high expectations failed me and let me down but i am glad for it in a way because it made me realize that what i liked about grief wasn't the lyrical prose/the poetry but the feeling. porter is a skilled poet, but to me, he is an even more skilled feel-er. the emotion in grief was palpable and that's what made it into one of my favorite pieces of text i've ever read. lanny is great, but the emotion i was so thirsty for i only found in the middle section. while the beginning and end are pr ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Grief is the Thing with Feathers completely blew me away when I read it in 2016...I would go as far as to say it's a perfect book, so I was a little nervous when I picked this up as I wanted it to be just as good. I'm so happy to say that Max Porter has done it again and I think this is even better than his debut. Lanny completely sucked me in and I couldn't help but devour it in one sitting (which I think is the perfect way to read this book). Each character came alive within a few sentences, a ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Somewhere between a 3 and a 4, with the extra star added as benefit of doubt/acknowledgment that the writing is lovely and tactile and tension-inducing. More later.)

I’m not disputing that Porter writes well. His first novel, Grief Is the Thing With Feathers, was a linguistic knockout, and an emotional one as a direct result of that expressiveness. Lanny convinces me a little bit less–it’s a story about a strange, ethereal boy whose parents have moved the family to a commuter village in the Home
Rhianna Skelton
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while since I’ve sat and devoured a whole book in one day, especially between work as well. But with Lanny I did just that.

This book is absolutely incredible, told from many different perspectives, but not Lanny’s. Yet you feel a sense of knowing towards him as a character, a peculiar child with a warm heart who’s pretty sensitive but will light up a room. He’s weirdly in tune with the sounds of nature, being able to here and see Dead Papa Toothwort is eventually something that ever
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Max Porter has conjured an enthralling story with a rich cast of characters: an imaginative and charming boy, the boy’s parents, a once-renowned artist living in obscurity, and all the other inhabitants of a picturesque village just outside of London. The boy, Lanny, makes an impression on everyone he meets with his peculiarities and way of looking at the world—when he draws the attention of a trickster spirit, what unfolds is a harrowing, poetic tale that Porter fills with a panoply of voices a ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
*** read an uncorrected pre publication proof ***

this is hauntingly beautiful. i devoured it in 2 hours flat, but there isn’t much i could say that has not already been said here countless times by readers more articulate than i can be.
the language is sublime, and the formatting is so interesting and clever that it made the book near impossible to put down.

i love lanny, both the book and the boy. i wish him well
Erica Rist
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beutifully weird and wonderful. Max porter always fills my mind with vivid imagery. Loved it
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5* I really enjoyed it, but I feel like I’ve missed some things and I definitely want to re-read it at some point, maybe read a few reviews/analyses first.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this. Reminiscent of Reservoir 13, but in the style of David Mitchell.
David Tierney
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hopefully I'll write a longer review at some point, but for now all I'll say is that this is an astounding book. I devoured it, it's beautiful language, experimental style, and it's unstoppable narrative. Absolutely essential reading.
Ioan Marc Jones
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bloody lovely. Innovative, interesting, and engrossing. Demands your time and attention. Best fiction I’ve read so far this year. X
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Max Porter works in publishing. He lives in South London with his wife and children.
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