Top positive review
36 people found this helpful
A very impressive debut
on 22 April 2009
Sam Marsdyke, the anti-hero of God's Own Country, is a fascinating character - very funny and engaging at times but also sadistic and menacing. In fact, the whole book has a air of menace hanging over it, from the gothic moorland setting to the way Sam stalks his prey, both animal and human, as he spends his days roaming the bleak North Yorkshire countryside.
Sam narrates the book and his Yorkshire dialect is rich and colourful, but I didn't find it intrusive or unintelligible - I did have to look up a few words, such as "blatherskite", "powfagged" and "hubbleshoo", but I think it's easy to follow Sam`s train of thought without having to resort to a dictionary. There's also a lot of dark humour in the book, mostly at the expense of the ramblers and rich `towns' who seem to be taking over the village and turning it into a yuppie outpost.
As with all the best unreliable narrators, you're never quite sure whether to believe Sam's version of events, especially as his relationship with the neighbours' girl develops and Sam's past comes back to haunt him.
I was very impressed by this debut novel which seems to have caused a bit of a storm in the publishing world and received a lot of award nominations. Definitely an author to watch out for.