Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for 21st Century Yokel by Tom Cox. Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation and to Unbound my paperback copy of the book. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:
“Longlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize
21st-Century Yokel is not quite nature writing, not quite a family memoir, not quite a book about walking, not quite a collection of humorous essays, but a bit of all five.
Thick with owls and badgers, oak trees and wood piles, scarecrows and ghosts, and Tom Cox’s loud and excitable Dad, this book is full of the folklore of several counties – the ancient kind and the everyday variety – as well as wild places, mystical spots and curious objects. Emerging from this focus on the detail are themes that are broader and bigger and more important than ever.
Tom’s writing treads a new path, one that has a lot in common with a rambling country walk; it’s bewitched by fresh air and big skies, intrepid in minor ways, haunted by weather and old stories and the spooky edges of the outdoors, restless and prone to a few detours, but it always reaches its destination in the end.”
Well what can I tell you about this terrific book, except that I absolutely loved it and that I’ve discovered a new favourite author. Just thinking about writing this review is making me smile as I remember some of the anecdotes. Fortunately I’d recently stocked up on new post -it notes so I could mark all the parts that made me think, laugh out loud and smile as I was reading.
There are so many great stories in this wonderful collection and here are some of my favourites. His recollection of his Dad’s way of telling him stories as ‘someone acting as a translator for his own words’, likening a male tawny owl’s call to that of the Fonz from Happy Days, Bad Weird and Good Weird (you’ll have to read it to understand), ‘hello people’ when out walking, how unreliable phone apps are for identifying caterpillars, bees mating on his flares, and his wonderful account of watching the beavers. I could go on as I’ve remembered some more, but that would spoil it, and I definitely don’t want to do that as you really do need to discover this fab book for yourself.
I also love his thoughts on social media and the internet, of how we’re so focussed on sharing stuff that we don’t enjoy the actual moment we’ve just witnessed. I’m very guilty of this, so it was good to be reminded to just enjoy nature and wildlife without thinking that I need to be sharing it online.
I thoroughly recommend this if you like reading nonfiction, in fact even if nonfiction is not your thing, give this a try as I’m certain you’ll enjoy this fantastic book.
About The Author
Tom Cox lives in Devon. A one-time music journalist he is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Good, the Bad and the Furry and the William Hill Sports Book longlisted Bring Me The Head of Sergio Garcia. Help the Witch, a collection of folk ghost stories, was published in October 2018. Follow Tom on Twitter and his website