Faber Members get 10% off their first order

The Fountain in the Forest

Tony White

Distant revolutions echo through time in this Oulipo-inspired novel about the moment when Thatcher’s militia fatally wounded the British political counter-culture.

Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

When a brutally murdered man is found hanging in a theatre, Detective Sergeant Rex King becomes obsessed with the case. Who is this anonymous corpse, and why has he been ritually mutilated? But as Rex explores the crime scene further, the mystery deepens, and he finds himself confronting his own secret history instead. Who, more importantly, is Rex King? Shifting between Holborn Police Station, an abandoned village in rural 1980s France, and Stonehenge’s Battle of the Beanfield, The Fountain in the Forest transforms the traditional crime narrative into something dizzyingly unique. At once an avant-garde linguistic experiment, thrilling police procedural, philosophical meditation on liberty, and counter-culture bildungsroman, this is an iconoclastic novel of unparalleled ambition.

Critic Reviews

An engaging plot allows plenty of room for radical yet accessible interventions ... That all these stylistic fireworks can illuminate several rich plot lines, each with multiple twists, which an attentive reader will enjoy disentangling, is the best vindication of experimental prose.

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

A gripping police procedural ... Impeccably Oulipian in conception and execution … Sets the author and his readers a bracingly high bar.

David Collard, TLS
Critic Reviews

Rejecting familiar influences of the past 20 years, White joins a handful of contemporary writers who are proving that the novel has never been more alive. He is a serious, engaging voice of the modern city.

Michael Moorcock, The Guardian
Critic Reviews

‘White lulls the reader into absorbed bewilderment before weaving the strands together with all the deftness of a seasoned crime writer… Enjoy it as a noir entertainment or as an evocative picture postcard from the past.’

Critic Reviews

‘The Fountain in the Forest is fascinating, beautifully written and really original.’

Literary Review
Critic Reviews

A complex and twisting plot with a genuinely shocking and satisfying dénouement … an extraordinary novel where our sympathies are for a cop who as cop represents the very forces of repression the gut of the novel abhors… An astonishing achievement.


Tony White is the author of five novels including Foxy-T and Shackleton’s Man Goes South, as well as numerous short stories published in journals, exhibition catalogues, and anthologies. White was creative entrepreneur in residence in the French Department at King’s College London, and has been writer in residence at London’s Science Museum and the UCL School of Slavonic and East…

Read More