Luke Turner ‘Out Of The Woods’ Book Review ‘a powerful and compelling memoir about sexuality, masucilinty and the forest’

Screenshot 2019-01-11 at 20.13.36Luke Turner

‘Out Of The Woods’

Book Review


Luke Turner’s book is a  ‘fierce, poignant and highly original memoir about sexuality, shame and the lure of the trees…’ and it is this but yet so much more

This is a stunning work.


Of course the memoir is beautifully written but then Luke Turner is one of our best music writers – editing The Quietus music culture website and writing words about music that describe its powerful attraction and its deep power with a poetic flurry that is equal to many of the best releases themselves.

But this no lazy music auto-biog – there’s far too many of those mundane lists and anecdote affairs – this is a very open book about life,  death and fluid sexuality played out against the ancient mysteries of Epping forest. 

Whereas most books written by music writers are great lists of magical musical moments, The Quietus editor has taken us on a very different trip. Somehow entwining like holly around an old oak his own fluid sexuality with the fluidity of old nature itself. For every crunching walk into the old forest there is a youthful bisexual tryst as the author explores both his soul and the soul of the forest.  This is a book about the confusion of masculinity and a heartfelt trip deep into guilt and depression and finding refuge in the unforgiving trees. 

This is a journey into the lustful, dark and wild heart of nature and the soul of the author himself as he writes about his own bisexuality with the open sore, open heart of one his favourite groups Coil and the powerful impulses that lurk inside all off us and into the heart of nature itself. 

The sexual encounters of his youth and the awkward role of bisexuality in that generation that still hadn’t come to terms with stuff like that, unlike the millennials who defy the Trump agendas with their own far more relaxed attitudes to sex. 

This is not a coy and pretty book of fluffy animals and as much as that is a beautiful thought nature is in a constant war where instinct is the driving force and as he walks deep into Epping Forest and writes beautifully about its ancient mystery and shadowy reality, he never presses the soppy button. This is the real forest and the complex relationship between lust and life and death that is in the branches and roots of the trees and ultimately of Luke himself described in a powerful and hypnotic work.



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