Author(s): Robin Robertson

Poetry | Novel

The new book from the author of The Long Take, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of both the Walter Scott Prize and the Goldsmiths Prize.Like some lost chapters from the Celtic folk tradition, Grimoire tells stories of ordinary people caught up, suddenly, in the extraordinary: tales of violence, madness and retribution, of second sight, witches, ghosts, selkies, changelings and doubles, all bound within a larger mythology, narrated by a doomed shape-changer - a man, beast or god.A grimoire is a manual for invoking spirits. Here, Robin Robertson and his brother Tim Robertson - whose accompanying images are as unforgettable as cave-paintings - raise strange new forms which speak not only of the potency of our myths and superstitions, but how they were used to balance and explain the world and its predicaments.From one of our most powerful lyric poets, this is a book of curses and visions, gifts both desired and unwelcome, characters on the cusp of their transformation - whether women seeking revenge or saving their broken children, or men trying to save themselves. Haunting and elemental, Grimoire is full of the same charged beauty as the Scottish landscape - a beauty that can switch, with a mere change in the weather, to hostility and terror.

Review: Robin Robertson is one of the finest contemporary poets. -- John Banville
Few writers so expertly pull the curtains back on the many collective fictions, both ancient and new, that constitute our understanding of the world. -- Kevin Powers author of The Yellow Birds
Robin Robertson is a fearless and thrilling poet in what he confronts in himself as well as what he unearths from the commons of myth and balladry * Marina Warner *
A major poet... Robertson remains an unequalled guide among the shamanistic roots of poetry. * Fiona Sampson, Independent *
Robertson's lines have the luminosity of myth. * Adam Newey, Guardian *
Robin Robertson is instantly recognisable as a poet of vivid authority, commanding a surprised, accurate language of his own. * W.S. Merwin *
He's a poet who takes enormous risks, not only as a writer, but as a man and I admire him enormously for that. * Kirsty Gunn, Scotsman *
This is a book that will make you awaken at night . . . [Robinson's] poetry is unusual in that it is pointed - the glanced moment - and yet can be propelled narrative at the same time. Grimoire is a perfect encapsulation of both these talents . . . exceptionally impressive -- Stuart Kelly * The Scotsman *
In this beautifully spare and distilled poetic form these new Scottish folk tales rise from the page like the supernatural beings they give voice to . . . The illustrations are like beautifully strange phantoms . . . unflinching, brutal and often movingly beautiful . . . With its wonderful illustrations, bold design and sumptuous production, it's also a gorgeous book to handle and treasure. * The Tablet *
It is no wonder Roberston's narrative poem-novel, The Long Take, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2018. Grimoire is a collection which revels in this same talent for the tale; the reader is insistently drawn through these poems by the mythical narrative figure. Whether you read for the magic of the story, for the lull of beautiful language, or for the mysteries of the occult, Grimoire is a must-have for your poetry shelf this autumn. * The Skinny *
Robertson does something exceptionally impressive with language here, in that the book twists around Gaelic, Scots and English. It does not feel forced, and if it makes a reader check the index, then all to the good. . . Robertson is somehow dapper in just using the right word in the right place for the right line. . . The linguistic inventiveness would mean little or nothing if it did not come with an emotional truth. Robertson doesn't coax, but he does lure the reader, right up to the point when you are punched in the guts . . .There is a steeliness to Robertson's work. I would like an audio-book version, as in performance, he is dreadfully still as he tells us dreadful things. This is the poetry of the pause, not the applause. But there is one hand clapping here. * Scotsman *
Robertson's finely wrought poems capture the tradition of shape-shifting inherent in such spirit stories - the slippery interface of human, beast, god/spirit - and explore it in conjunction with dark and troubling narratives that edge on violence, murder and reckoning. These poems are populated by ghosts, witches, selkies, doppelgangers and, as such, read as though they might be reworkings of ancient folktales that have only just been brought to light. The accompanying drawings, in their bold, monochromatic woodcut style, have the feel of cave paintings, or Blakean preliminary sketches for some more colourful works. All in all, it's a lovely little coffee-table style book of poems, though don't let that sound too cosy . . . The Robertson brothers' book is a dark delight; a lexical and narrative cornucopia, full of uncanny and unsettling tales, rendered in a language that treads the line between viscerality and lyricism. * Stride *


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781529051117
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Picador
  • : 0.3
  • : July 2020
  • : 1.8 Centimeters X 15.9 Centimeters X 20.5 Centimeters
  • : December 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Robin Robertson
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 821.92
  • : 80