Starve Acre (Paperback)
  • Starve Acre (Paperback)
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Starve Acre (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 256 Pages
Published: 29/10/2020
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Waterstones Says

In the aftermath of their child’s death, a couple haunted by grief and guilt search for answers by digging into the past in this evocative slice of folk horror from the acclaimed author of The Loney.   

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for November 2020

The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby's son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.

Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.

Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.

A BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime

Publisher: John Murray Press
ISBN: 9781529387308
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 200 g
Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A tour de force of physiological fantasia . . . Writing of this quality - sensuous, exact, observant - ensures that other scenes, too, pulse with vitality . . . Hurley's gothic storylines send spectres of deathliness through his fictional world. His prose brings it vividly alive - Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

I will confidently predict that no reader will guess where it's heading, particularly in the novel's startling last sentence . . . Hurley's ability to create a world that's like ours in many ways and really not in many others is again on full display . . . Starve Acre, leaner and perhaps even more unsettling than its predecessors, may well be his best novel so far - The Times

Beautifully written and triumphantly creepy - Mail on Sunday

A perfectly pitched tale of suspense and the dark side of folklore . . . perfect, page-turning reading for a dark night - Herald

This kind of book, as with ghost stories from M.R. James to Susan Hill, demands a phenomenal control of language and atmosphere to work at all, and Hurley provides it in spades . . . This is a wonderful story of its type that has all the qualities of unease, nastiness, terror, psychological trauma and implied physical revulsion one expects from folk horror. But it's nothing to the denouement it foreshadows - The Spectator

Brilliantly written . . . Evoking Ted Hughes's style of writing, Hurley is adept at seamlessly intertwining the malignant savagery of nature with abstract use of imagery for horror effect. He has this uncanny ability of bringing the palpable supernatural to life with a neat, serene turn of phrase. All these hallmarks of superlative writing are in full display in this impeccable work of folk horror. Starve Acre is a haunting portrait of what happens in the liminal space between grief and sanity - Irish Times

The new novel from the award winning author of The Loney is a further entry in a genre that Hurley is fast making his own . . . Hurley adeptly creates an unsettling atmosphere and keeps us guessing about the extent to which his characters are haunted by grief, by more primordial supernatural forces, or both. This chilling story will set spines tingling and teeth on edge: just the thing for Halloween - Daily Express

Expertly paced . . . creepy and marvellous - Daily Mail

Hurley's striking prose evokes a rising sense of dread in this brief, unforgettable novella - Metro

Andrew Michael Hurley has been carving out a niche for himself as a notable writer of modern gothic since the success of his Costa winning debut, The Loney, and his third novel, Starve Acre, offers an atmospheric tale in the same tradition of English folk-horror . . . Hurley has a fine talent for evoking the menace of his northern landscapes . . . an enjoyably chilling tale for a wild winter night - Observer

An uncanny, unnerving work of rural Gothic . . . Starve Acre is a very fine novel, and quite a singular reading experience . . . the final third of Starve Acre is one of the most unnerving things I've ever read - Irish Independent

A nerve-shredding feat of compression - The i

Startlingly and daringly original, a story that shivers itself deeply into the consciousness - David Park, author of the 2018 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Travelling in a Strange Land

One of the most interesting and eerie writers of contemporary horror - The Scotsman

A perfectly pitched tale of suspense and the dark side of folklore - Press Association

The best closing line of any novel we have read this year . . . A strange and unsettling read - The Times, Fiction Book of the Year pick

Hurley shows himself a master of both murky menace and graphic prose - Sunday Times, Fiction Book of the Year pick

Hurley is a graceful, confident stylist and for this reason alone he is a joy to read - Guardian

One of the most interesting and eerie writers of contemporary horror - Independent

Hurley shows a wicked sense of control, masterminding a genuinely unsettling final act that runs to the very last sentence - TLS

A spookier take on parental guilt came from Hurley's chiller Starve Acre, about a couple mourning the death of their nightmare-plagued five-year-old in the Yorkshire Dales - Daily Mail, Books of the Year

This sensuous and vivid gothic terror tale, set in a haunted house, is the best novel yet - Sunday Times

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Terence, Bookseller Newry

“A Modern English Folk Story”

Deeply moving, yet strangely disturbing, Andrew Michael Hurley's third novel, Starve Acre, establishes him at the forefront of a growing sub genre in literature that I would describe as modern English folk... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 151

“Deliciously gothic and beautifully written”

Richard and Juliette are grieving the loss of their five year old son, Ewan, at Starve Acre, their inherited home in a rural English village. Richard has thrown himself into his work, researching a legendary oak tree... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 73

“Read with the lights on”

Until I read some reviews of this book I had never heard of the folk horror genre, but that sums up this tale well. An unsettling combination of folk lore, superstition, village gossip, a woman in touch with the dead,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 67

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