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Starve Acre - Andrew Michael Hurley

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Starve Acre
Andrew Michael Hurley
Paperback / softback
John Murray
UK Publication Date

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.

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Andrew Michael Hurley is based in Lancashire. His first novel, The Loney, was originally published by Tartarus Press as a 300-copy limited edition, before being republished by John Murray. It went on to sell in twenty languages, win the Costa Best First Novel Award and the Book of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards. Devil's Day, his second novel, was picked as a Book of the Year in five newspapers, and won the Encore Award.

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
Sunday Times - Peter Kemp

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

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

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

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

1st paperback ed
Keyword Index
Horror tales.
Country of Publication
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