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Black Dirt Paperback – 6 May 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (6 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330426400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330426404
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,045,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘Spare and beautifully crafted’ Daily Telegraph

‘Each character digs deeper into the earth and each layer that’s peeled away reveals a darker, more sinister one beneath’ Independent on Sunday

‘Leyshon layers story upon story to create a peaty texture, using landscape and local lore in a way that recalls Graham Swift’s WaterlandObserver

‘Haunting. The flood plain around Glastonbury is both the setting and the subject of this novel, layering myth and history to create a sense of a rich and mysterious past’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Compelling. Between Prank’s present and his memories are interspersed local legends that work their dark magic on Iris’s imagination to bring about the novel’s devastating climax’ Time Out --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

An established author, Nell Leyshon is best known as a playwright, with work broadcast on Radio 4. BLACK DIRT is her first novel. She lives in Bournemouth and is currently completing a collection of short stories.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Love Books VINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
The narrative is set in and around Glastonbury, a place very close to my heart, so I was familiar with some of the historical stories which weave through this book and I was inclined to like it anyway. But even if I'd never been there, the sheer quality of the writing and the beautiful way the main story unfolds would have had me captivated. There are very few characters in this book which follows Frank from his birth to his death in the same room of the same house, and his relationship with his parents and sister, and then his son and daughter is exquisitely depicted. The countryside which surrounds their isolated house is almost a character in itself. It's impossible to describe the story (which is fairly simple) without giving it away, but this is a seriously good book and one that deserves to be read.
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By Sarahtj on 23 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The press reviews on the back promised a much, much more exciting read than this book delivered. Maybe that isn't the fault of the book, but the reviewers. I can't say that this book actually gave me anything to think about, or even a gripping yarn. I desperately wanted to like it ... and failed. I feel a bit sad!
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Format: Paperback
The soft lilt of the Somerset accent comes through in the dialogue. Narrative is sparse and the tension is built up chapter by chapter. A thoroughly good read for people who know Glastonbury and for those who have yet to discover it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
A Treasure 24 Nov. 2014
By JLee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read “The Color of Milk,” by Nell Leyshon, and I was eager to try more. That was such a brilliant book, simply a treasure.

Black Dirt is easily as memorable. Like Milk, it’s quite short, 185 pages in the paperback version, but much of that is short paragraphs of dialog, so a very quick read.

Also, like Milk, it’s not so much what is written as how it is written. The main story takes place on a farm in Glastonbury, noted for its legends of Joseph of Arimathea and King Arthur. Frank has just been brought home from the hospital, apparently to die. His married daughter and her husband are there to care for him and for George, Frank’s son, who mentally will always be a child. Meanwhile, the rains continue, flooding the land. The land, the rain, and the peat they rely on are each as essential characters as are the family members. Frank fades in and out of reality, listening to the rain, remembering the stories his father told to him and his sister when they were children. The stories, like the layers of dirt and peat, run deep into the past and are part of Frank’s secrets. Frank has secrets, deep secrets.

Even familiar stories become new and engrossing in Leyshon’s hands. This book is a gem.
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