Growing up in an isolated cottage in the hills of Cumberland, Tom knows the bitter cold of shooting expeditions with his grandfather and long evenings spent with his father and mother. But taken away from the hills to live in the small town of Thornton, Tom experiences a tumult of conflicting emotions which he must master before he can come to terms with his identity.
First published in 1965, FOR WANT OF A NAIL was acclaimed as the debut of a distinctive and talented new writer.
The impression is one of striking individuality - the sort of originality an author achieves when he has really meditated hard about his characters, loved them, watched them, and let them grow - Sunday Telegraph
A novel well worth returning to...a vivid and totally original imagination...tableau after tableau is spotlit into brilliant life - Scotsman
A very good novel...sparkles with a keen awareness of both local landscape and character - Cumberland Evening News
Fine, tense writing derived not from books but from passionate observation of particular landscapes and people - Spectator
Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize).
He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.