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The problem is, when a book starts with such an extraordinary beginning, it's very easy for the other sections of the book to pale in comparison. And that is sadly what happened. Don't get me wrong, there are no bad sections, but nothing was ever as good as that first part. Myers, Benjamin (2021). Male Tears. London, UK: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-5266-1134-5. OCLC 1238056757.

Fisher, Mark (22 October 2021). "The Offing review – soft-pedalled adaptation of Benjamin Myers novel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 10 March 2023. In this unique new novel by Benjamin Myers, the story of Cuddy is retold and reworked to take place over multiple centuries after the saint’s death in 687AD. In fact, most of Cuthbert’s story takes place after his death, when he is exhumed and moved to safety. While his actual life is mostly myth and legend, his posthumous wanderings are points of fact and history. Cuddy is told (mainly) in four distinct parts, all written in unique styles and telling a different part of the legend and myth of St Cuthbert over more than 1,000 years in the north of England.

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The Gallows Pole - Watch the trailer for Shane Meadows' new drama". www.bbc.co.uk. 19 May 2023. Archived from the original on 31 May 2023 . Retrieved 31 May 2023. There wasn’t even really a script. Much of the series is born out of workshops, improvisations, and an acting and directorial approach that is entirely fluid. He starts with the out-line for a scene, and then builds it up from there. It is a unique approach – some might call it chaotic – but as a fellow Capricorn (we are considered the lone stubborn goats forging their own path high up on the hill-side), I completely respect and understand his approach. One of total creative control, but aided by collaboration. Duffy, Kevin (29 December 2016). "The Society of Authors' Roger Deakin Award 2016". Bluemoose Books. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021.

Richardson, Hollie; Davies, Hannah J.; Verdier, Hannah; Virtue, Graeme (31 May 2023). "TV tonight: Shane Meadows's first period drama is about the Cragg Vale Coiners". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 31 May 2023 . Retrieved 31 May 2023.Fiction Uncovered Prize Longlist 2015". Jerwood Arts. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 21 January 2021. Myers, Benjamin (2017). These darkening days. Tyne and Wear, England. ISBN 978-1-911356-02-8. OCLC 990643416. {{ cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher ( link) In 2014 Myers won the Society of Author's Tom-Gallon Trust Award [22] for his short story, 'The Folk Song Singer'. He was runner-up in the same prize in 2018 for his story 'A Thousand Acres Of English Soil'. His poem 'The Path To Pendle Hill' was selected by New Statesman as one of its Poems Of The Year 2015 [23] and work from the same collection were read by Myers on BBC1 programme Countryfile. And the way that certain characters (eg an owl-eyed boy) and certain motifs (eg wild garlic) echo through the ages makes the sum greater than its sometimes flawed parts.

Cook, Jude (21 August 2019). "The Offing by Benjamin Myers review – poignant story of an unlikely friendship". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077 . Retrieved 3 January 2020– via www.theguardian.com. The styles of the novels differ and each reader will likely find a different part appeals. The first section is perhaps the most innovative, with prose poetry mixed with a story told from attributed quotes from various sources, ancient and modern, on which Ben Myers has drawn. The latter aspects was one of the book’s highlights for me, but the prose poetry it’s weakest element, albeit one that put Cuddy in dialogue with Letty McHugh’s brilliant Barbellion Prize winning The Book of Hours. As the book moves from 687 to 2019 in centuries-long leaps, there are less obvious themes which run throughout. Where does one find inspiration, and why are some sources more powerful than others? Is the distance between the sacred and the profane really so great? When is historical inquiry illuminating, and are there times one should simply "let his story lie" undisturbed? Myers is particularly fascinated by the journey of self-discovery that is the birthright of each person. And his personal love for the natural world allows for some truly vivid scene-setting.Cuthbert is a central character linking the stories. But so is the cathedral. So much so that in one short section that is presented to us as a play, the cathedral has a speaking part. A dead person and an inanimate building are the central pillars around which the story flows. And, to a large extent, what we read is the history of the cathedral as it is built, corrupted, invaded and restored. And this story is told via a number of excellent and memorable supporting characters.

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