Lanny: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Max Porter's latest novel is not just an engrossing read, it's an immersive one. I didn't read Lanny, I watched it, like a movie in my mind's eye. Rich in literary experimentation, Lanny sings with the voices of suburban England and beats with the heart of the half-dead, old gods modern life has left behind.  

— From Devon D. Staff Picks

May 2019 Indie Next List

“The genius of Max Porter is that he can write a village in its entirety—a mother’s love for her son, a brilliant artist’s loneliness, a young boy’s whimsical adventures, a mythological creature’s inner monologue, a whole village worth of secrets and wishes and terrible thoughts—and make it into a bizarre but highly enjoyable little novel. You’ll find yourself thrilled by the dark humor Porter captures in his story of one village and its characters, both real and mythologized, as Lanny follows the eponymous young boy and the lives he impacts around him.”
— Erin Mazza, BookBar, Denver, CO


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.

About the Author

Max Porter is the author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, which won the International Dylan Thomas Prize and The Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was short-listed for The Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize.

Praise For…

“A dreamy whodunnit.”WSJ Magazine

“[Porter offers] the ultimate incantation of nature and its pitiless sovereignty. . . . Lanny is one of the most beautiful novels of the past decade.”BookPage

“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

“[Lanny] delivers quite the punch with its combination of unlikely effervescence, authentic emotion, and literary exploration. . . . Porter has created both an entertaining tale and a novel of exceptionally creative experimentation and genre extension.”Booklist, starred review

“This imaginative novel starts off dreamily, picks up speed, and races to a propulsive conclusion. A guaranteed edge-of-your-seat read.”Library Journal, 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

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555978402
ISBN-10: 1555978401
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019
Pages: 160