Pig Iron

Winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2013.

Runner-up The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize.

A 3:AM Magazine Novel of the Year.

John-John wants to escape his past but the legacy of brutality left by his bare-knuckle boxer father, King of the Gypsies Mac Wisdom, overshadows his life. His new job as an ice cream man should offer freedom, but instead pulls him into the dark recesses of a northern town where his family name is mud…. Pig Iron is the story of a traveller who hasn’t travelled; a young man fighting for his surname and his very survival.



Pig Iron is an important book because it tells a story that has shaped all contemporary Western humans, but is routinely, inexplicably overlooked – the great move from agricultural life to industrial life.” – Judge Deborah Orr, the Gordon Burn Prize 2013

“Benjamin Myers’ influences are clear — David Peace’s northern brutalism is evident and there are suggestions of Salinger and Golding but Pig Iron’s savage vision is his alone.” – The Morning Star

“His poetic vernacular brims with that quality most sadly lost – humanity.” The Guardian

“One of my best reads this year…it’s a deeply rural story, a book full of passion for the English countryside and centred on the conflict between the travelling and the settled community.– Melvin Burgess