Recommended Read: The Siege of Trencher’s Farm – Gordon Williams

The Siege of Trencher’s Farm – Gordon Williams


The first time I read this – many years ago, probably in the late 1970s – I had no idea that this was the book that infamous film of my youth Straw Dogs was based on. I saw the film before I read the book, and as I read on I slowly came to see the connection.

However, the book is much, much better than the film. A far more involved story of greater depth and subtlety than the film, which goes for action and visual effect than the more psychological approach of the novel.

Gordon M. Williams was a very good writer, once nominated for the Booker Prize back when the nominations were worth reading, and this is a far better read than its association with that film would first suggest.


The original novel on which Sam Peckinpah’s controversial movie Straw Dogs was based.

American professor George Magruder, his wife Louise and their daughter rent an old, isolated house known as Trencher’s Farm in Cornwall, so George can finish writing his book. When George accidentally runs over a convicted child killer on the loose from a mental asylum, he confronts the brutal locals and sets in train a series of violent events that threaten his very survival and that of his family.

Rating: 4/5



Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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