'A winter's tale of light and laughter.' - Sunday Times
'What is especially enjoyable is the rough-edged tenderness and kindness of Mr Wain's concern ... probably his most substantial achievement to date.' - Robert Nye, Saturday Times Review
'[S]ubstantial and serious ... sustains a vigorous narrative line - he has always been an excellent storyteller.' - Times Literary Supplement
'[A] love affair between its author and North Wales itself.... It is a novel with its heart in the right place, and it knows where the right place is.' - The Observer
'Clever and entertaining.' - The Guardian
Roger Furnivall is a forty-year-old philologist with no money and no sex life. But he thinks he's found a way to solve both problems: a cushy university post in Sweden pays well and promises access to plenty of beautiful blondes. There's just one catch: the job requires a knowledge of Welsh. Taking a sabbatical in North Wales to learn the language, Roger expects a long and dreary winter of linguistic study, but instead quickly finds himself drawn into the drama of local affairs. A large corporation seeking a monopoly has squeezed every bus operator out of business but one: taciturn hunchback Gareth Jones is the lone holdout. Seeing in this one man's struggle for survival against the faceless forces of corporate greed a problem more important than any he has ever faced, Roger is moved to help. But when the company's hired thugs begin to make attempts on his life, Roger discovers that his winter in the hills may end up being much more than he had bargained for ...
John Wain (1925-1994) catapulted to fame with Hurry on Down (1953), the defining novel of what the media called the 'Angry Young Men' movement, but it was in his later works, in which he explored the unresolved place of the individual in a world of social change driven by abstract and impersonal economics, that he was at his best. This edition of A Winter in the Hills (1970), one of his finest novels, includes a new foreword by Will Wain.