When he attempts to trade prejudice, parole officers and local gangs for his `green cathedral' - the rural landscape in which he seeks solace - Mac's rise and bloody downfall threatens to engulf John-John's present. Pig Iron is the story of a traveller who hasn't travelled; a young man fighting for his surname and his very survival.
"This work is an unflinching testament to Margaret Thatcher's legacy, dealing as it does with two groups of people who took the brunt of her viciousness - travellers and the former coalmining communities of the North East. Two generations denied any such thing as society, existing instead in the concrete circles of sink estate hell; succoured by poverty, weaned on mind-erasing drugs, ruled over by bullies in the Iron Lady's image and rendered vicious by fear. The only redemption here lies in what lies outside, the eternal, ancient beauty of the land and the power of Mother Nature, rendered in Ben Myers' luminous vernacular prose, that makes beauty yet from the brutal truth."
- Cathi Unsworth, author of The Singer and Bad Penny Blues.