The Perfect Golden Circle

“Nobody does troubled figures in a stunning landscape like Ben Myers. He’s a major force in the English novel and he gets better with every book.” Max Porter, author of Grief is The Thing With Feathers and Lanny

From a British literary sensation, the story of two rural outcasts and the crop circles they create over the course of a long, hot and very strange summer.

Summer 1989, rural England, the tail end of long decade of mass unemployment, class war and rebellion, and  the continued  destruction of the English countryside.
Over the course of a burning hot summer, two very different men – traumatized ex-soldier Calvert, and affable and chaotic Redbone – set out nightly in a decrepit  camper van to undertake an extraordinary project.  Under cover of darkness, the two men traverse the fields of rural England in secret, forming crop circles in elaborate and mysterious patterns, designs so intricate that they inspire the kind of awe that the ancient Gothic cathedral in nearby Salisbury once inspired.

As the summer wears on, and their designs grow ever more ambitious, the two men find that their work has become a cult international sensation – and that an unlikely and beautiful friendship has taken root as the wheat ripens from green to gold.

But as harvest-time beckons — and as media and the authorities begin to take too much interest in their work— Calvert and Redbone have to race against time to finish the most stunning and original crop circle ever conceived: the Honeycomb Double Helix.

Moving and exhilarating, and recalling the apocalyptic visions of William Blake, Alan Moore and Cormac MacCarthy, The Perfect Golden Circle is a captivating, tender and slyly witty novel about the power of beauty to heal trauma and fight power.

Benjamin Myers is an award-winning author and journalist, whose work has been translated into many languages. His novels include the best-seller The Offing, which was serialized on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book at Bedtime’, was a London Times Book of the Year, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick and an Observer pick for 2019. It was also a bestseller in Germany. His other titles include The Gallows Pole, which the won Walter Scott Prize 2018, the world’s largest prize for historical fiction; These Darkening DaysTurning Blue and Beastings, winner of the Portico Prize For Literature and a Northern Writers’ Award.

Pig Iron (2012) won the Gordon Burn Prize and Richard (2010) was a bestseller, chosen by the Sunday Times as one of its books of the year.  His writing has appeared in publications including The Guardian, Mojo, New Statesman, New Scientist, The Spectator, The Big Issue, Le Monde, Caught By The River and others.

He was born in Durham, UK, in 1976. He currently lives in the Upper Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, UK.

”A quiet, peculiar, and utterly charming novel about…crop circles … A winsome pleasure: a novel of friendship, collaboration, and environmental guerrilla art.” —Kirkus, starred review

”This brilliant, funny, and delightful novel is about misfits finding purpose, and the redemptive power of artistic expression even in the bleakest of circumstances.” —Booklist, starred review

”Myers keenly observes the men’s distant yet intimate friendship…the conversations between the two protagonists are illuminating…” —Publishers Weekly

”A thrilling introduction to a British literary star and a moving meditation on history, trauma and the urge to create…” —Shelf Awareness

“The beauty of Myers’ language alone is reward enough to read this superb novel, but The Perfect Golden Circle offers so much more: an all-too-rare literary depiction of rural England, the depths of the two central characters, the class and ecological concerns; but most of all the human need for what the Welsh poet Bobi Jones called ‘the boundless mystery that comforts being.’ A truly remarkable novel.” —Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena


Praise for Benjamin Myers’s previous novels:


“This quiet, lyrical novel confirms a powerful new voice.” ―The Times

“This is a poetic book with a winning generosity of spirit, moving from a folksy celebration of the rural north to a revelation of the broader horizons that can come from reading and some serious culture.” ―Sunday Times

“It’s a poignant story, and Myers’ descriptions of the countryside are wonderful.” ―Mail on Sunday

“Every page is studded with descriptive jewels … Deeply attuned to the natural world … Poetic … This book is a sensual pleasure … It’s about the forever things: good food, and art, and friendship, and how those pleasures can redeem us, even during the harshest of times.” —New Statesman

“Quietly gripping … Written with Myers’s customary grit and brio … A welcome advance, one that sees Myers effortlessly extending his range.” —The Guardian


“One of the most interesting, restless writers of his generation.” ―Daily Mail

“In his varied, and often satirical, takes on an alternative English history, steeped in the mythic, folkloric and grotesque, Myers taps into a rich vein of Yorkshire gothic, both menacing and comically absurd, its register set somewhere between Ted Hughes, Emily Bronte and The League of Gentleman. The stories resonate most when his dark humour and lyricism combined.” ―Times Literary Supplement

“Benjamin Myers’ stories in Male Tears cut right to the heart of the matter. This is fiction to be taken in gulps of pleasure – full of fire and light, wisdom and violence.” —Rob Doyle

“One of the most singular, moving and crucial voices of our times.” —David Peace

“Powerful, visceral writing.” —Pat Barker


“One of my books of the year … It’s the best thing Myers has done.” ― Robert Macfarlane, Big Issue Books of the Year

“A windswept, brutal tale of eighteenth-century Yorkshire told in starkly beautiful prose.” ―The Guardian

“A brutal tale told with an original, muscular voice.” ―The Times, summer reads picks 2018

“A phenomenal and highly energised novel.” ―Sebastian Barry


”A queasily compulsive evocation of a wild and brutal Yorkshire landscape, informed and haunted in equal measure by the shades of Jimmy Savile and his monstrous deeds and the East Riding’s lost boy of crime fiction, Ted Lewis.”
 —Cathi Unsworth, author of Without the Moon and Weirdo

”Ben Myers is the master of English rural noir and with ’Turning Blue’ he has created a whole new genre: folk crime. It is by turns gripping, ghastly and unputdownable. I’m already looking forward to the sequel.”
 —Paul Kingsnorth, author of The Wake and Beast

”Depraved and decadent … His prose is beautifully controlled and so graphic it’s impossible not to picture the scenes he conjures up in striking detail. There is no hiding from the darkness because the writing is so damned good.”
 —Val McDermid, The Guardian


“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. The respect in which that shapes human culture and individual humans.” —Deborah Orr

“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.” ―Morning Star