Max Porter plays by his own rules. As with his first novel, GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS, LANNY contains its own shifting structure, its own malleable logic. It looks very little like the novels you might be used to. The book is, in a word, unruly. But isn't that exactly what a book about unleashed creativity, wild environs, and the chaos of human relationships should be? LANNY mesmerizes with its playful juxtapositions of tenderness and cruelty, beauty and grime.— From Trista
An entrancing new novel by the author of the prizewinning Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
There’s a village an hour from London. It’s no different from many others today: one pub, one church, redbrick cottages, some public housing, and a few larger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. This village belongs to the people who live in it, to the land and to the land’s past.
It also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a mythical figure local schoolchildren used to draw as green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth, who awakens after a glorious nap. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to its symphony of talk: drunken confessions, gossip traded on the street corner, fretful conversations in living rooms. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, ethereal boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.
With Lanny, Max Porter extends the potent and magical space he created in Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. This brilliant novel will ensorcell readers with its anarchic energy, with its bewitching tapestry of fabulism and domestic drama. Lanny is a ringing defense of creativity, spirit, and the generative forces that often seem under assault in the contemporary world, and it solidifies Porter’s reputation as one of the most daring and sensitive writers of his generation.
“Porter is an enchanter with words. . . . Elegantly mysterious: a story worthy of an M.R. James or even a Henry James and a welcome return by an author eminently worth reading.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“In his bold second novel, Porter combines pastoral, satire, and fable in the entrancing tale of a boy who vanishes from an idyllic British village. . . . This is a dark and thrilling excavation into a community’s legend-packed soil.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“It’s hard to express how much I loved Lanny. Books this good don’t come along very often. It’s a novel like no other, an exhilarating, disquieting, joyous read. It will reach into your chest and take hold of your heart. Every page is a joy. It’s a novel to press into the hands of everyone you know and say, read this.”—Maggie O’Farrell
“Max Porter writes like no one else and it is impossible not to be swept along and astounded. Lanny is a wonder.”—Daisy Johnson
“The writing is stunning and deeply affecting. The plot thunders along. This is a book that resolutely refuses to be categorised but to get somewhere close, think: Under Milk Wood meets Broadchurch.”—Nathan Filer
“It takes a special kind of genius to create something which is both so strange and yet so compulsive.”—Mark Haddon
“It shouldn’t be possible for a book to be simultaneously heart-stopping, heart-shaking and pulse-racing, but that is only one of the extraordinary feats Max Porter pulls off in this astonishing novel.”—Kamila Shamsie
“A powerful yet tender reclamation of the imagination, love, and artmaking—all of it a brilliant defense of the outsider’s tenuous foothold in society.”—Ocean Vuong
“Reading Lanny is like going to the back of the garden to find the exact spot where magic and menace meet. It’s delightful and dark, stark and stylish, and as strange as it is scary—I loved it.”—Claire Cameron