#bookreview Lanny by Max Porter published by Faber & Faber


Not far from London, there is a village.

This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present.

It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here.

But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all. 

Chimerical, audacious, strange and wonderful – a song to difference and imagination, to friendship, youth and love, Lanny is the globally anticipated new novel from Max Porter.

My reading experience:

Lanny is a young boy, a child.

Meet dead Papa Toothwort, creature of local folklore. Nothing can prepare you for this book; wildly creative, flowery and fairytale-ish, it is transportive yet focusing all at the same time.

Welcome to the village; a place lived in now but at the same time hundreds of years ago, a place where the dead might walk among the living.

Although by the end of part 1 I was questioning whether there was even a plot to this book I was so enthralled by the richly intense and wildly colourful prose presented with various typography tools that it didn’t seem to matter. I was falling deeper down the rabbit hole that is this book. The author was bringing this strange, peculiar, spectacle of a story to life.

Part fairytale and part thriller, this is an unusual telling of an event that happens every 3 minutes in this country. I can’t praise Max Porter enough for his outlandish imagination and bravery for putting that down on paper. More please.

Themes: Friendship, imagination, youth, macabre, love, folklore, missing people, media, parenting, social norms


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