Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doggerland” as Want to Read:
Doggerland
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doggerland

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Doggerland is brilliantly inventive, beautifully-crafted and superbly gripping debut novel about loneliness and hope, nature and survival – set on an off-shore windfarm in the not-so-distant future.

‘His father’s breath had been loud in the small room. It had smelled smoky, or maybe more like dust. ‘I’ll get out,’ he’d said. ‘I’ll come back for you, ok?’ The boy remembered
...more
Hardcover, UK, 208 pages
Expected publication: April 4th 2019 by Fourth Estate
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Doggerland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Doggerland

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-47
3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  18 ratings  ·  13 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Hannah
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
In hindsight, the comparisons to The Road (which are spot on btw) should have given me pause. Because I don't particularly like The Road. This book is beautifully written but unbearably bleak and not quite introspective enough to work for me.

Review to come.
Neil
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
My thanks to HarperCollins UK for an advanced copy via NetGalley of this debut novel from Ben Smith. On the publisher’s website, author Melissa Harrison describes Doggerland as “The Road meets Waiting for Godot: powerful, unforgettable, unique”.

The setting is the not-too-far-distant future on a vast offshore wind farm in the North Sea where two men (The Old Man and The Boy - they are named, but their names are rarely used) work as maintenance engineers. They are almost entirely alone and the bo
...more
Paula Bardell-Hedley
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Paula by: NetGalley.
“His father’s breath had been loud in the small room. It had smelled smoky, or maybe more like dust. ‘I’ll get out,’ he’d said. ‘I’ll come back for you, ok?’ The boy remembered that; had always remembered it. And, for a time, he’d believed it too.”
Ben Smith’s novel takes place on an offshore windfarm that stretches for thousands of acres – all that is visible from the main rig is row upon row of turbines as far as the eye can see. The Boy, who is no longer a boy, and the Old Man, whose age is
...more
Gumble's Yard
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book is set in what appears to be a near-future world, where (possibly due to climate change) society has undergone some kind of breakdown. Two people – The Old Man (Griel) and The Boy (Jem) (“Of course, the boy was not really a boy, any more than the old man was all that old; but names are relative, and out in the grey some kind of distinction was necessary.”) live on-site as maintenance engineers on a massive and isolated North Sea windfarm – their only contact being a regular service boa ...more
SueLucie
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I can’t better Jon McGregor’s contribution to the publisher’s blurb for this book and take the liberty of reproducing it here.

In Doggerland, Ben Smith has created a vision of the future in which the world ends with neither a bang nor a whimper but just rusts gradually into the sea. I found it both terrifying and hugely enjoyable, as well as tremendously moving. Ben Smith's writing is incredibly precise; working with a restricted palette of steel greys and flaking blues, he paints the boundaried
...more
Joseph
Doggerland is the name given in the 1990s to an area of land, now submerged beneath the North Sea, which connected Great Britain to Continental Europe. Doggerland once extended to modern-day Denmark and far north to the Faroe Islands. It was a grassland roamed by mammoth, lion, red deer – and their human hunters – but melting ice turned it into an area of marshes and wetlands before it was finally and definitively claimed by the waves around 8,000 years ago. (Incidentally, Doggerland was recentl ...more
Ruth Saville
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NetGalley for this book. I really wanted to like this book more than I did! I loved the premise and the first couple of chapters, but then I felt it lost its way slightly... There were huge chunks of descriptive prose describing the turbines and their inner workings that I really struggled to follow and visualise, however I realise this could be my failing, but it hindered my enjoyment of the book.

I liked the relationship between the Old Man and Young Boy but felt I wanted more from t
...more
Wendy
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sanity and resolve patiently weather the bleak and hostile location of a decaying oceanic platform, until monotony casts off and drifts beyond its dependable boundary.

Its occupants, a duo humbly labelled as ‘the boy’ and ‘the old man’, manage a forest of wind turbines surrounded by the endlessly churning ocean and a brooding confinement that ebbs and flows. Here, time erodes at a gruelling pace as they surrender to the predictability of one another’s company.

The chronic tedium of their routine
...more
Tom Mooney
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful novel. An old man and a boy live their lives on a rig in the north sea, repairing turbines on a giant wind farm. An ecological event has seen the world ripped of its resources, only plastic and electricity seem in rich health.

Their days are mundane: travelling around the farm in their rechargeable boat, carrying out repairs for 'The Company', keeping the blades turning, eating bland manufactured food, playing pool, dredging the seabed for useless items. All there is, apart from
...more
Alan
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘This is water turning to solid mass, taking its liquid forms – ripple, eddy, vortex – and translating them to tendril, flower, leaf. This is water reaching skywards, arching and holding its shape.’

I loved this book. It’s one to make you think, to ponder our future as a planet, and to accept with humility the vastness of time and the inconsequence of humankind versus the forces of Nature. As two men tend a massive wind farm somewhere in the North Sea – the Boy (Jem) and the old man (Greil) – the
...more
Pile By the Bed
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Doggerland is the name given to an area of land that connected the UK to mainland Europe which up until about 6,500 years ago was habitable. Due to changes in sea level between 6,500 and 6,200 BCE, the land was submerged and now lies beneath the North Sea. Doggerland, Ben Smith’s debut novel, is set just slightly in our future (or perhaps an alternative present) and now that area is one of seemingly endless fields of rusting wind turbines rising above the waves.

In the middle of these fields is
...more
George1st
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Set in the not too distant future out in the North Sea far away from a seemingly drowned world where a wind farm covers thousands of acres, Doggerland is a dystopian tale that looks at the relationship between ‘the boy’ and ‘the old man’ who manage the seemingly crumbling forest of wind turbines. It is difficult to adequately convey the plot because the majority of time is spent in a claustrophobic world dominated by monotony and routine. This is interrupted by the visits of the Supply Boat and ...more
Brian Hamilton
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Comparisons with Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' are not unfounded, this story is told in a sparse pallette with dulled colours, muted emotions and a sense of bone weariness.

The descriptions are apt and certainly ring true, I live by the North Sea (and, coincidentally, a huge offshore windfarm) and the language and imagery constructed by Smith feels vividly realistic.

The massive windfarm is central to the story and the rig where the two characters resides slowly rusts around them.

This book unfolds
...more
Robert
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2019
Jamie Brackell
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2019
Helen Marquis
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2018
Kristen
rated it liked it
Jan 30, 2019
Martyn Cross
rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2019
Rachel
marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2018
Sian Thomas
marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2018
Steve
added it
Nov 06, 2018
Ahmed H. Mansour
marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2018
Jemima Pett
is currently reading it
Nov 12, 2018
Angel
marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2018
Beck
marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2018
Gin
marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2018
K.
marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2018
Maggie Rotter
marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2018
Victoria K
marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2018
Rose
marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2018
Marchpane
marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2018
Jason
marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2018
Marc
marked it as to-read
Dec 28, 2018
Kim
marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2018
Jerry
marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2018
Ashley Raynor
marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2018
Darrel
marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2019
Tanninsandtales
marked it as to-read
Jan 06, 2019
Esther
marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2019
Keith
marked it as to-read
Jan 09, 2019
Annie
marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2019
Nooralk
marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2019
kenneth
marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2019
Olivia Rose
marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2019
Laura
marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
1 follower
Ben Smith is based in North Cornwall, where he lives with his partner, the author Lucy Wood (4th Estate) and is a creative writing lecturer at Plymouth University. His first poetry pamphlet, Sky Burials, was published by Worple Press and his poetry and criticism have appeared in numerous outlets. As an academic, he specialises in environmental literature focusing particularly on oceans, waste and ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »