People in Blanow think that books are dangerous: they fill your head with drivel, make poor firewood and cannot be eaten (even in an emergency).
This book is about Howul. He sees things differently: fires are dangerous; people are dangerous; books are just books.
Howul secretly writes down what goes on around him in Blanow. How its people treat foreigners, treat his daughter, treat him. None of it is pretty. Worse still, everything here keeps trying to kill him: rats, snakes, diseases, roof slates, the weather, the sea.
That he survives must mean something. He wants to find out what. By trying to do this, he gets himself thrown out of Blanow… and so his journey begins.
Like all gripping stories, HOWUL is about the bad things people do to each other and what to do if they happen to you. Some people use sticks to stay safe. Some use guns. Words are the weapons that Howul uses most. He makes them sharp. He makes them hurt.
Un-put-down-able! A classic hero’s journey, deftly handled. I was surprised by every twist and turn and the plotting was superb. A tour de force. – Lindsay Nicholson MBE
Of course books are dangerous.
I am so proud of my husband for writing this extraordinary novel, which dares to be so different and plunges us into a strange and gripping alternate universe. It shows us what can happen to human nature and behaviour when society’s sophisticated structures and systems are no longer in place and people are left to fend for themselves amid new power dynamics. I used to think he was secretly watching football in his study instead of writing a novel. How wrong I was! – Bernardine Evaristo
HOWUL, was published in a digital edition on 15th January 2021 and in paperback on 15th March 2021.