- 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, 21st-Century Yokel 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.
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, will be published in October 2019.
"Tom Cox is an enchanting companion in this modern romp through treasured landscapes. I laughed and learned on every page."
– Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator and The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs
"A rich, strange, oddly glorious brew [...] Cox's writing is loose-limbed, engaging and extremely funny, and time spent in his company is time very pleasantly spent."
"A wonderful, witty and moving collection of essays that, together, meander somewhere between nature writing, memoir and quiet polemic. As ever, Tom Cox's musing and meditations are profound and playful; reflective and seriously readable, riffing on the difficulties of locating bat detectors in Argos one moment and painting heartbreaking eulogies to his Nan the next. A storyteller in entrancing form."
– Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground
"Like a British David Sedaris dedicated to a rural way of life, Tom Cox crafts funny and poignant stories out of observations and interactions – except his observations are of trees and his interactions are with squirrels."
– AV Club
"A hybrid of nature writing, memoir, and social history, it rambles, leisurely, through the English countryside, often pausing to ponder the relationship between people and place"
"21st-Century Yokel is just a glorious book-funny and wry and wise, and utterly its own lawmaker."
– Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland
"Tom Cox is an enchanting companion in this modern romp through treasured landscapes."
– Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator
"Simultaneously the funniest and saddest book about the modern countryside that I know."
– John Lewis-Stempel, author of Meadowland