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Savage Gods

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  31 reviews
After moving with his wife and two children to a smallholding in Ireland, Paul Kingsnorth expects to find contentment. It is the goal he has sought to nest, to find home after years of rootlessness as an environmental activist and author. Instead he finds that his tools as a writer are failing him, calling into question his foundational beliefs about language and setting ...more
Paperback, US edition, 142 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Two Dollar Radio
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Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
Kingsnorth thought having access to his own patch of land would settle his very being, give him a sense of belonging, somewhere where he could be rooted for the first time. An opportunity came to acquire a smallholding in Ireland and after a lot of thought, they grasped it. The family could begin a simpler life, growing their own food, homeschooling and become more in tune with the natural world. A place that they could call home and discover contentment for the first time in a very long time.

Beth M.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The position I had painfully staked out in the world began to fragment. I began to fragment. I am still fragmenting, I think. Sometimes it scares me, sometimes it excites me. You have to come apart to be put back together in a different shape. You have to be reformed, or you rust up, and all your parts stop moving.

Sometimes a book finds you at exactly the right moment. The moment when you need to know that someone else has felt what you feel. That someone shares the same questions and doubts and
Niklas Pivic
Writers are lost people. Nobody would write a book if they werent lost. Nobody would write a book if they were not in search of paradise, and nobody would be in search of paradise unless they believed it might exist somewhere, which means out there, which means just beyond my reach. Writers can see paradise, but can never touch it.

This is a parable of a book, a journey that's gradually told via Ireland, fables, gods, and family. I've not read Paul Kingsnorth before, but he strikes me as a quite
Sep 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sad to say it, but this is one of those books that really should have been shelved. Kingsnorth's previous efforts have been disintegrating and the result is this series of loosely connected, egocentric musings about his ambiguous failures, his father, and his relationship with writing - none of which prove to be very interesting, if I'm being honest.

This is all very saddening and frustrating. When Kingsnorth is on, he is punchy and witty, and his drive led to Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain
Chris Roberts
Sep 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
An ode to overthinking, to minutiae.

Author as bastardized construct,
In tandem with oblivion causal ratios, I calculate,
quantifying hierarchical tasking rates in the frontal lobe.


Chris Roberts, God Once Again

Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
Well-written meditation by a middle-aged writer struggling with a kind of midlife writing crisis (but not writers' block). I suppose that I liked it, but it doesn't actually matter - he didn't write it for an audience, really, and I don't think he'd care too much whether his ruminations were profound to me, much less gave me "pleasure." Probably won't read his novels because it sounds as if they are immersive experiences (no windowpanes): e.g.,"Beast plunges [the reader] into a world ..." - ...more
Kamalendu Nath
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
These are contemplative monologues and introspections on the inspiration to life, in general, to the writing process, in particular. Most sections resonated with me and others I just let pass. Overall, its an interesting read, needing certain frame of mind (Zen-like meditative mood). Themes include self-identity via belonging to a place (and people). There is this dichotomy of struggles between belonging and being an outsider. Which one provides literary creativity! I liked most excellent ...more
Mike Toms
Although there were passages in this book that I found really interesting, the overall effort turned out to be a disappointment of first read. Maybe it will better next time around.

What happens when a writer cannot write, when the writer loses their muse? This is what Kingsnorth explores, speaking from his own experience. While you get the sense that the text was written as the writer experiences the loss of his muse I found this approach too scatter gun at times, even irritating (the
Edward Rathke
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Loved parts of this but also kind of rolled my eyes at other parts.

This is very much a book for writers so I doubt I'd recommend it for anyone else. This makes the book both insufferable and insightful, sometimes at the same time. There was much I connected with here, like his overall view of the world and so on.

His views about art and the artist, though, tread to easily into the mystique and mysticism that surrounds writers. It's a kind of mythology that, to me, lands somewhere between
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend for anyone who has ever struggled with writing.

On writing, Get it down. Get it down. Capture it. There is nothing else.

He also speaks of following your fire what burns in you when choosing what to focus your talents on. Also found his struggle with adventure vs. family resonated very deeply. At a certain age you wonder what the point is.

As the song goes...Is that all there is?
Mar 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up. A short, powerful book with many quotable sections. Tough to review. I loved the fire and water piece. What I took away from this was to always challenge yourself to live better and determine what is important to you. Easier said than done. Highly recommend ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 (superficial-rating system rating). This is an excellent memoir and reflection on the writing life. A must-read for any serious writer, thinker, and reader of related ideas (writing, thinking, modern living, environmentalism). I also recommend reading his Confessions ...
Vuk Trifkovic
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Not an easy book, from a writer who certainly is not easy on anyone, but which makes it way easier to get his other novels. Particularly "The Beast". Can't wait to read the last installment in that trilogy.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a unique read. Intellectually stimulating and emotionally raw. Its virtually impossible to capture in a review. If you are looking for a challenging, thought provoking, but still accessible, deeply personal book then give this a go. Its a book I will certainly return to. ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"All nature is a language-- but none of it is written down." [p. 117]
Doris Raines
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: two-dollar-radio
A reminder that getting lost is ok. But you have to remember to get found sooner rather than later.
Elbrackeen Brackeen
Sep 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
Julia's review blog 9/18/19
Tyler Bosma
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
So fascinating. If I were an author / writer, I think I'd buy a copy of this book and read it monthly. An interesting and thought-provoking take on life and what it means to create and live.
Benjamin Lewis
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Paul Kingsnorth has articulated in this book something incredibly hard to describe without poetry: the contradictory need to acquire and to escape the sense of "belonging."
Emory & Sara
Jan 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
Yikes. A white man ruminating on why it's so hard to be a white man in 2019. Hard pass.
Matthew Norris
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone that considers themselves a writer, or a lost artistic soul searching for meaning.
Matthew Burris
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A journal, an examination of writing and writers block (if thats even the right word) and a philosophical essay. Meandering the way something like this should be. I liked it. ...more
Sally Piper
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thought-provoking book for any writer questioning why they write.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't review this book yet; it has had a profound effect on me.
Alex Watson
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of those books that really got me; spookily insightful at the outset, I found myself underlining constantly in the first half. My path and the books diverged somewhere before the end, but not wildly, and the parting was not harsh. ...more
Lynn McMillan
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brave and honest

If you have ever wondered about the dark night of the soul, Paul Kingsnorth allows us to see how it is for a writer when words no longer serve. An important book for its honest and brave revelation of a man on the night-sea journey of personal crisis. If it doesnt resonate with you now, it will.
Dan Sumption
A blistering stream-of-consciousness hundred pages of poetic thought, reminiscence, fabulation and euology, ostensibly about the author's inability to write any more. If this is what not writing looks like then, please, can we have more of it?
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Paul Kingsnorth is an English writer and thinker. He is a former deputy-editor of The Ecologist and a co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project. He lives in the west of Ireland.

He studied modern history at Oxford University, where he was also heavily involved in the road protest movement of the early 1990s.

After graduating, Paul spent two months in Indonesia working on conservation projects in

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