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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Eerie, unsettling and hauntingly beautiful - a new collaboration from the best-selling creators of Holloway, Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood. A unique audiobook experience, narrated by Stephen Dillane, set to a bespoke score by composer Hugh Brunt. Recorded and produced at Abbey Road Studios, London.

Somewhere on a salt-and-shingle island, inside a ruined concrete structure known as The Green Chapel, a figure called The Armourer is leading a ritual with terrible intent. But something is coming to stop him.

Five more-than-human forms are traversing land, sea and time towards The Green Chapel, moving to the point where they will converge and become Ness. Ness has lichen skin and willow-bones. Ness is made of tidal drift, green moss and deep time. Ness has hagstones for eyes and speaks only in birds. And Ness has come to take this island back.

What happens when land comes to life? What would it take for land to need to come to life?

Using words, the pair have together made a minor modern myth. Part-novella, part-prose-poem, part-mystery play, in Ness their skills combine to dazzling, troubling effect.

Robert Macfarlane is the author of The Lost Words with Jackie Morris, The Old Ways and Underland. Stanley Donwood is an artist and the author of Slowly Downward, Household Worms and Bad Island.

Score by Hugh Brunt  

Co-produced by Hugh Brunt and Jake Miller 

Engineered and mixed by Jake Miller 

Field recordist: Peter Eason 

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios 

Soprano: Josephine Stephenson 

Assistant engineer: George Oulton 

Mastered by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios  

©2019 Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Ness goes beyond what we expect books to do. Beyond poetry, beyond the word, beyond the bomb - it is an aftertime song." (Max Porter, Booker-longlisted author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers)

"...it's a listening experience marked by its oddity, its vocabulary...it's a compelling and unsettling experience." (Financial Times Weekend)

 

"With its mythical atmosphere and rhythmic pleas...this is a work that is best heard out loud." (The Guardian

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