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.
Robbed of his ancestral home -- a near-derelict hovel in the mountains of west Wales -- Ianto pledges revenge not only on the English yuppies who have turned his grandmother's cottage into a weekenders' barbecue party but on all those who have violated him and the land that is his. The oppression and abuse that Ianto has faced triggers his lurid imagination into unspeakable savagery -- embodying the most primal fears of physical threat and a world beyond his control.
An extraordinary prose amalgam of Old Testament prophecy and demotic slang, of Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, Sheepshagger is written in a language charged to the highest level: lyrical and hieratic, saturated -- like nature -- in beauty and violence. And the spirit of its place, Ianto, at once both Caliban and Prospero, will hang in the memory of all who read his story like a devil or a god.
Sheepshagger is the story of Ianto: the inarticulate, inbred, ignoble savage. It is also the story of Ianto the seer, the visionary who comprehends Nature with a Blakean intensity, at one with the world he lives in. The novel is both these stories, both these people, and the character that emerges is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. Robbed of his ancestral home - a near-derelict hovel in the mountains of west Wales - Ianto pledges revenge not only on the English yuppies who have turned his grandmother's cottage into a weekenders' barbeque party but on all those who have violated him and the land that is his. This latest act of colonial oppression and desecration triggers his lurid and strange imagination into unspeakable savagery - embodying our most primal fears of physical threat, a world beyond our control.
From the Inside Flap
“Haunting and intensely imagined, layered with chilling humour and charged with linguistic energy... a powerful and disturbing novel.” – A.L. Kennedy
“ Sheepshagger is never less than compelling; the range of Griffiths’s achievement is as exhilarating as the reach of his ambition.” – Guardian
“The power of Griffiths’ language is astounding, steeped in the wild forces of nature that have helped make Ianto what he is, by turns lyrically beautiful and tumultuously violent.” – The Times
From the Back Cover