About Tom Cox
Tom Cox was born in Nottinghamshire and lives on Dartmoor. He is the author of thirteen books, including Notebook, Ring the Hill, Help The Witch and 21st Century Yokel, which Robert MacFarlane described as ‘just a glorious book – funny and wry and wise, and utterly its own law maker’. It was longlisted for the Wainwright Nature Writing prize. His debut collection of fiction Help the Witch won a Shirley Jackson Horror Writing Award. Villager, his debut novel, chronicles two centuries of life and legend in a fictional West Country village. Its soundtrack, the lost 1968 psychedelic folk LP ‘Wallflower’ by RJ McKendree, will be released in May.
There’s so much to know. It will never end, I suspect, even when it does. So much in all these lives, so many stories, even in this small place.
Villages are full of tales: some are forgotten while others become a part of local folklore. But the fortunes of one West Country village are watched over and irreversibly etched into its history as an omniscient, somewhat crabby, presence keeps track of village life. In the late sixties a Californian musician blows through Underhill where he writes a set of haunting folk songs that will earn him a group of obsessive fans and a cult following.
Two decades later, a couple of teenagers disturb a body on the local golf course. In 2019, a pair of lodgers discover a one-eyed rag doll hidden in the walls of their crumbling and neglected home. Connections are forged and broken across generations, but only the landscape itself can link them together.
A landscape threatened by property development and superfast train corridors and speckled by the pylons whose feet have been buried across the moor. Tom Cox’s masterful debut novel synthesises his passion for music, nature and folklore into a psychedelic and enthralling exploration of village life and the countryside that sustains it.