Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Beastings - Benjamin Myers
Have you heard of Benjamin Myers? I have. He wrote my favourite book of 2012. It is called Pig Iron and it knocked my fucking socks off. I was absolutely fucking delighted when Ben's people sent my people (I don't have any people, but didn't you think I was ever-so important there, just for a sec) his new book.
You've got four characters. The poacher. The girl. The baby. The priest. I'm always happy when there are no names and few characters. No one's got time for that shit. Hold it back, writers.
The girl has the baby. The poacher and the priest want to find the baby. What follows is a trek through Yorkshire like a game of hide and seek.
If you haven't read anything by Ben Myers, then do. Get your eyes round anything of his you can get your hands on and have a go at it. What I love about his writing is the simplicity of what is going on. There are no gadgets and bullshit. He writes like how he looks: a bearded, homely Northern man. The writing in Beastings, as with Pig Iron and the gorgeous novella Snorri and Frosti, is completely stripped back of any fancy pants bullshit and is primal and uninhibited. And, as with Myers' other writing, there are deliciously dark and fucked-up bits to contrast with the wholesome muckiness of people and the general disgustingness of survival.
I'm making this sound like a twat's book, I think. It's not. It's a fucking beauty. Give it a go.
Recommended if you like mud and love.