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The Book of Trespass Reviews

The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes

The Book of Trespass

Crossing the Lines that Divide Us

Nick Hayes

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Bloomsbury Circus
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 20 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781526604699

Weaving together the stories of poachers, vagabonds, gypsies, witches, hippies, ravers, ramblers, migrants and protestors, and charting acts of civil disobedience that challenge orthodox power at its heart, The Book of Trespass will transform the way you see the land.

4 stars out of 5
1 Sep 2020

"It’s hard to imagine a more evocative argument for opening up the land."

As an explorer who writes about urban infrastructure and spends a lot of time underground, I always enjoy the immersion of the outdoors but lack the vocabulary, and perhaps imagination, to record my experiences in convincing prose. Hayes has no such problem – his writings, whether on wild woods or manicured estates, are honey for connoisseurs of adventure. Each of the stories he tells is peppered with well-placed etymological explanations that betray a wealth of knowledge underpinning his unsolicited surveys.


5 stars out of 5
10 Aug 2020

"He has picked apart the meaning of “trespass” and brilliantly redefined it as an act of solidarity."

Several scenes are related from the ambit of a campsite bonfire, as the author revisits that day’s excursion, and the flicker of firelight (the storyteller’s light) seems to illuminate the whole book. Hayes is an illustrator as well as a writer and his attentiveness to chiaroscuro extends to the accompanying black-and-white relief prints. Each chapter carries an animal’s name, and the illustrations that adorn the headings have a scythe-like dynamism that befits a book more blood-stained than rose-tinted. Most telling is the animal subjects’ refusal, in these thumbnail portraits, to be confined: badger’s snout, fox’s tail, stag’s horn – each breaches the wall of its heavy black frame. It’s a deft detail in a book dedicated to demolishing boundaries of all kinds...