A Roman road, an Iron Age hill fort, a hand-carved flint, and a cycle of violence that must be broken.
An ancient British boy, discovering a terrorist plot, must betray his brother to save his tribe. In the twenty-first century, two people – one traumatised by war, another by divorce – clash over the use and meaning of a landscape. In the distant future, a gang of feral children struggles to reach safety in a broken world. Their stories are linked by one ancient road, the ‘Devil’s Highway’ in the heart of England: the site of human struggles that resemble one another more than they differ.
Spanning centuries, and combining elements of historical and speculative fiction with the narrative drive of pure thriller, this is a breathtakingly original novel that challenges our dearly held assumptions about civilisation.
Reviews of The Devil’s Highway
- ‘Brilliant. The best treatment of climate change in fiction I’ve come across. A powerful, essential novel’ George Monbiot
- ‘In satisfyingly Alan Garneresque fashion, the cycle of stories – historical, contemporary and science fictional – implies a single underlying narrative of landscape; human behaviour echoes from time frame to time frame, through the same cautious liaisons and breakages of trust, the same muddles of love and prejudice, the same sense of family as central to survival’ Guardian
- ‘A fierce, immersive vision of a novel. Wise, humane but never sentimental, The Devil’s Highway is a story of love, rebellion, trauma and survival. It is the story of our relationship with the natural world – of how we got here, and where we might go next. No story could be more important’ Tom Bullough, author of Addlands
- ‘The Devils Highway is profound and powerful, its prose moving to poetry. Gregory Norminton writes in language scraped down to its bleached bones – but how exquisitely he makes those bones sing’ TLS
- ‘Norminton cleverly shows how the places generations pass through have a way of preserving their ghosts’ Sunday Times
- ‘This is a work of staggering imagination, of unflinching acuity, powerful, poetic and profound. Telling the story of climate breakdown through language breakdown, it magnifies the meaning of loss, portraying a devastated culture without history or literature, whose language is down to its bleached bones and yet – how those bones sing’ Jay Griffiths, author of Wild: An Elemental Journey
- ‘A striking and dazzlingly poetic meditation on the resonance of place, conflict and kinship. . . . Norminton’s skilfully-wrought novel is a memorable and thought-provoking read’Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture
- ‘A big, ambitious, beautifully written book that examines, with immense sympathy and generosity, one of the greatest of all themes, place, and our complex, fraught relationship with it’ Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others