Throwback Thursday Review: 21st-Century Yokel

21st-Century Yokel audiobook cover. A man walks along a path on green hills, with the chalk outlines of a cat, badger, and sheep on each one (from left to right). 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Duration: 10 hrs 40 mins.

This was the first audiobook I have heard by Tom Cox, and I wasn't really sure what to expect. Initially I thought it might have been a mistake to have it narrated by the author (four words that can strike fear into the heart of any audiobook enthusiast, unless followed by 'Neil Gaiman'). But as I settled into the book I found Tom's narration quite endearing, and doubt that it would have felt as personal a memoir if delivered by anyone else. His habit of repeating phrases irked me a little at first but it soon became less irritating as I familiarised myself with his style. The book turned out to be a charming stream-of-consciousness set against lush landscapes, and as someone who is often housebound by illness I really found myself enjoying the images he conjured of his many walks, especially those with the black poodle, Billy, who so reminded me of my own curly little black poodle cross. (Who would also leap onto a chair at the sight of a mouse rather than doing anything more practical or dog-like.)

Although the book sometimes feels as though it is wandering through Tom's recollections as much as it is wandering through the countryside, his humour and warmth meant that it at no point felt as dull as such a memoir really ought to have. It was like visiting an elderly relative in a nursing home, and discovering that you don't really mind the fact that the heating is up too high or the smell of cabbages, because one of the other residents always has an interesting story to tell about his life, and before you know it he's reminiscing about his grandfather and you're on your fourth cup of tea.

I will certainly look out for other books by this author, and hope he narrates those too.

buy on audible.co.uk
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