Sheepshagger A novel by Niall Griffiths. This is the story of Ianto: the feral, inarticulate, inbred, ignoble savage; haunter of mountains, killer of innocents.
Ianto is a sheepshagger -- a yokel, a Welsh redneck. But Ianto is also a seer, a visionary -- the genius loci -- who comprehends nature with a Blakean intensity, and is at one with the world he lives in: the moss and lichen, the lamb and the raven, the summit and the scree. He has lived in the area most of his adult life, and through exploring its 'pubs and offices and squats and ginnels' 11 has come to know both its drifting classes and their wilder hinterlands.
As he writes with respect to Aberystwyth:. Through involvement in the area, Griffiths has developed what might be described as a Celtic connection to the land and water around him.
In Sheepshagger , Griffiths fictionalises one outcome of such 'near umbilical' Celtic connection. As its title suggests, the book is provocative and often alarming.
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It does not fulfil Llewellyn's 'How Green is my Valley' beatific idyll , but recounts a reality that is beautifully brutal. In an interview with 'Americymru', Griffiths explains the political importance of acknowledging that there is more than a 'green and pleasant' version of Wales intrinsic to his landscape:.
Did Bank of Ireland just say 'Hi Sheepshagger'?
With themes echoing Faulkner, a writing style resonant of Ron Berry, and characters' complementing Irvine Welsh, Griffiths' has fashioned an intentionally dramatic novel with a strong political and social undertow. In Sheepshagger , Griffiths introduces the reader to Ianto in a split-time narrative. The Heart's Invisible Furies.
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Review: Sheepshagger by Niall Griffiths | Books | The Guardian
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