Calling to mind Swift, Twain, Austen, and Jerome K. Jerome, Powys manages masterfully to cover the spectrum of human failings, from petty to vile, with insight and humor. A delightful entertainment with a wit too rarely seen now in fiction.
Kirkus (starred)

Unclay

by T. F. Powys

Death has come to the small village of Dodder to deliver a parchment with the names of two local mortals and the fatal word unclay upon it. When he loses the precious sheet, he is free of his errand. Hungry to taste the sweet fruits of human life, Mr. John Death, as he is now known, takes a holiday in Dorsetshire and rests from his reaping. The village basks in summer loveliness but teems with all the old sins (lust, avarice, greed)—as well as loving-kindness. What unfolds is a witty, metaphysical, and surprising novel aglow with beauty and moral force.

Editions: PaperbackEbook

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Paperback (published November 27, 2018)

ISBN
9780811228190
Price US
16.95
Price CN
22.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
336

Ebook

ISBN
9780811228206

T. F. Powys

British writer

Calling to mind Swift, Twain, Austen, and Jerome K. Jerome, Powys manages masterfully to cover the spectrum of human failings, from petty to vile, with insight and humor. A delightful entertainment with a wit too rarely seen now in fiction.
Kirkus (starred)
Powys’s quaint village brims with eccentrics and sinners, and gentle humor exists alongside a brutal frankness about power and sex. It is hard not to succumb to the strange, animating energy in Powys’s allegorical tale about Death’s redeeming qualities.
Publishers Weekly
His masterpiece.
Washington Post
This forgotten gem from 1931 is an odd and idiosyncratic story about a rural English priest who befriends Death. Powys mixes vivid descriptions of landscape with his own unique humor to write a novel unlike anything you’ve read before.
—Adam Fales, Book Culture
An esoteric genius: his books are puzzling, engaging, and illuminating, glowing with a gentle, a half eerie light, humane, ironic and wise. Powys gives pleasure and delight, unique and surprising music.
The New York Times
Heretical, scandalous, and mocking, but essentially parables.
—Jorge Luis Borges
Very few twentieth-century authors have the knack of writing convincingly of first and last things. T.F. Powys is one of them.
—John Gray, New Statesman
One of the most original of all English storytellers. T.F. Powys’s novels and the powerful Unclay ‘stand up like oaks.’
TLS
Unclay is such an odd and unlikely book that it seems scarcely more real than the fictional books Borges delighted in. Behold visions that owe a debt to Blake and the novel’s theological concerns and earthy humor harken back to Swift, but Powys’s ambivalence seems hyper-contemporary: I loved this book.
Tor.com