Doggerland by  Ben Smith


Ben Smith

Set in an unspecified future, on a vast, corroding windfarm far out in the North Sea, this is a poetic, claustrophobic read. Above sea-level, we follow the storm-blasted routines of the boy and the old man, maintenance workers imprisoned by wind turbines and each other. Below the surface, the book plays out on a different timeline, elegantly charting geological periods and the fluidity of landmass. The result is affecting and quietly profound.


One day he passed a turbine with a scorch mark halfway up its tower. He turned and watched it as he went past. He’d already passed that turbine a few days before. He remembered the dark, peeling paint. The way it curled off into the wind like flags. A few days later he passed it again. He began to see it every few days – he almost started looking out for it just before it came into view. However hard he tried to change his route, however much he tacked further north, further west, he always circled back to the turbine with the scorched paint.

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