Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review of Deep Country by Neil Ansell

Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh HillsDeep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills by Neil Ansell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Neil Ansell spent five years living alone in a small cottage in the Welsh hills: I was expecting a book about why somebody would choose to do such a thing, an analysis of society and its ills, and a description of solitude and what it can do for a person. Deep Country spoiled my expectations for the better: the narrator is transparent, and through him we see the wild in its beauty, matter-of-fact brutality, its permanence. Ansell's prose expels the narrator, and as a result manages to include the reader, to share with startling clarity experiences only possible for a person who has given themselves time to watch the world. A great book about slowing down, and looking outwards.

I've already bought Ansell's new 'Deer Island', just out from Little Toller books, and I'm looking forward to meeting the man when he comes to Topping & Company in Bath to speak about the new book. If you'd like to come along, on 29th July, details here: http://bit.ly/139l0UK (drop me a line and I'll put you on the guest list!)

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