Treacle Walker

By Alan Garner

‘Playful, moving and wholly remarkable’ Guardian

‘A small miracle’ New Statesman

‘Mastery of craft, resonance and deep feeling on every page’ Telegraph

Treacle Walker is a stunning fusion of myth and folklore and an exploration of the fluidity time, vivid storytelling that illuminates an introspective young mind trying to make sense of everything around him.

‘Ragbone! Ragbone! Any rags! Pots for rags! Donkey stone!’

Joe looked up from his comic and lifted his eye patch. There was a white pony in the yard. It was harnessed to a cart, a flat cart, with a wooden chest on it. A man was sitting at a front corner of the cart, holding the reins. His face was creased. He wore a long coat and a floppy high-crowned hat, with hair straggling beneath, and a leather bag was slung from his shoulder across his hip.

Joe Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. He reads his comics, collects birds’ eggs and treasures his marbles, particularly his prized dobbers. When Treacle Walker appears off the Cheshire moor one day – a wanderer, a healer – an unlikely friendship is forged and the young boy is introduced to a world he could never have imagined.

‘All the exuberance and eccentricity, all the deep thought and resounding mythology of [Garner’s] best work’ Observer

‘Spare and allusive… luminous and understated’ Rowan Williams, New Statesman

‘Cryptic, evocative, sparely told and deceptively simple’ Carolyne Larrington, TLS


Format: Hardback
Release Date: 28 Oct 2021
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0-00-847779-0
Alan Garner was born in Cheshire on 17th October 1934, and his childhood was spent in Alderley Edge, where his family has lived for more than four hundred years. He was awarded the OBE in 2001, for his services to literature.

”'Treacle Walker is a small miracle” - New Statesman Best Books of 2021

”'Remarkable … there’s mastery of craft, resonance and deep feeling on every one of these 150 pages.” - Daily Telegraph

”'Spare and allusive … luminous and understated. It’s about seeing and healing; any more by way of summary would be useless” - Rowan Williams, New Statesman

”'It’s a strange, austere, uncompromising book, leagues ahead of anything else I’ve read this year” - Peter Thonemann, TLS

”'This seemingly brief tale is a hypnotic wonder, blurring the boundaries of time and spirit… A glorious wonder in its own right. Here is real magic between hard covers” - Erica Wagner, New Statesmen

”'Treacle Walker is a circular narrative, made of smaller interlocking circles, with actions and whole paragraphs repeating: in its end is its beginning. This late fiction also works the seam opened up in Garner’s very first novel, inspired by the story handed down to his grandfather about enchanted sleepers under Alderley Edge … Playful, moving and wholly remarkable work … There’s a life’s work inside this little book” - Guardian

”'Sparse yet masterful… This is a mesmerising folktale where every word counts” - Literary Review

”'Garner has always suggested that there is essentially just one story, and this novel… contains all the exuberance and eccentricity, all the deep thought and resounding mythology of his best work. At the end of his life, Philip Roth wrote the extraordinary Nemesis, a book that felt like a conversation between the author and his younger self, an attempt to express in a single novel the concerns of a lifetime. Treacle Walker does something similar, cramming [in] … more ideas and imagination than most authors manage in their whole careers” - Observer