Thus writes an elderly monk, the central figure in Adam Thorpe's Hodd. It's a testament to Thorpe's talent as a storyteller, however, that if one reads those first pages after having read the monk's tale, they become far more interesting.
Thus writes an elderly monk, the central figure in Adam Thorpe's Hodd. We meet our narrator indirectly, however, as the book takes the form of a "discovered" copy of a medieval document, translated from the Latin by one Francis Bellowes.
A spirited, restless fourteen-year-old, Fay, goes missing from a Lincoln council estate. Hugh Arkwright's remote childhood in the Central African bush, and its sudden disruption, leaves him with a legacy of magic, mystery, and tragic loss. Late in his life, he returns to the gaunt house in Ulverton where he was brought up by his eccentric uncle, and finds that the old ghosts still walk.
Hodd - a story, we must presume, already only a version of itself - allows us to watch both processes as they remake a reality that, in a sense, never existed. But it's also a novel of sly and powerful ironies in which, at every turn, a kind of visionary fundamentalism trumps the humanity of its narrator.
It’s a strange and promising start for Adam Thorpe’s novel, but unfortunately Hodd never lives up to initial expectations.
Adam Thorpe (born 5 December 1956, Paris, France) is a British poet and novelist whose works also include short stories, translations, radio dramas and documentaries. Adam Thorpe was born in Paris and grew up in India, Cameroon and England.
Adam Thorpe's novel is richly enjoyable on many levels. no prior knowledge of the Robin Hood legend is necessary to appreciate the lustrous prose, the humanity and the exuberant inventiveness of this strange and lovely book". Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph. no-one who reads this will think of Robin Hood and his merry men in quite the same way again".
By Adam Thorpe (Cape £1. 9). By Michael Arditti for MailOnline Updated: 07:17 EST, 30 June 2009. No sooner has Peter Ackroyd rendered the Canterbury Tales into modern English than Adam Thorpe reverses the process, returning the legend of Robin Hood to its medieval setting. It is Thorpe's conceit that he has obtained an early 20th-century translation of the confession of a former minstrel boy who was dragooned into 'Robert Hodd's' band
FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Good guy or bad guy? A medieval document casts doubt on our pre-conceptions about a medieval folk hero and legend.
FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Who was Robin Hood? Romantic legend casts him as outlaw.
The early ballads portray a quite different figure: impulsive, violent, vengeful, with no concern for the needy, no merry band, and no Maid Marian. Hodd provides a possible answer to this famous question, in the form of a medieval document rescued from a ruined church on the Somme, and translated from the original Latin.