Philip Gross

author for adults and children

go to Recent Fiction by Philip Gross go to Backlist Fiction by Philip Gross go to Younger Fiction by Philip Gross go to Children's Poetry by Philip Gross go to Stories by Philip Gross


Winner of the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) Poetry Award 2011

Described by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the previous year’s winner of the prize and a judge as, “an outstanding winner for this Award” while fellow judge Fiona Waters, also a previous winner, said, “This is wonderful stuff. Here are real, proper poems which are full of beauty and imagination!” knows what’s happening, they are on the run together. A gripping, thought-provoking novel about lies, truth, love and whether you can ever really know anybody... even yourself. More information from Salt Publishing.

Reviewed by Liam Parkin on Already an established poet and winner of the T. S. Eliot prize, Philip Gross has produced Off Road to Everywhere, a collection full of poetry that appeals to both adults and children. His language and diction is captivating, and the rhythmic measure of many of the poems is perfect for a younger generation getting into poetry. Throughout the collection, Gross mixes fantasy with reality and elevates the familiar with images like the ‘Folded...wings of old-gold birds, / Chinese screens’ (Shadow Party); and the exquisite illustrations complementing the poems pick out more than the words on the page. Gross provide a wealth of knowledge on how to write poetry itself, and many of the techniques he uses can be used for workshops amongst adults and children. In an elegant and accessible collection, Gross introduces children to a world of thinking, writing and reading like a poet.

Salt Publishing 2011 ISBN 9781844717224 paperback £6.99

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Creative Writing Exercise

Professor Philip Gross, the award winning poet and novelist who lectures on the creative writing degree at the University of Glamorgan, reads one of his children's poems and talks us through a creative writing exercise.

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cover of THE STORM GARDEN by Philip Gross

THE STORM GARDEN by Philip Gross

A bomb at the shopping centre! And the terrorist has already confessed... So when the police discover that there was no bomb - just a gas explosion - they are faced with a mystery by the name of Max. Who is Max and what is he trying to do?

This is the question Clio finds herself asking, too. Far from winkling out the truth behind his lies, she finds herself caught up in them and before she knows what’s happening, they are on the run together. A gripping, thought-provoking novel about lies, truth, love and whether you can ever really know anybody... even yourself.

Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-275464-5 paperback £4.99

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THE LASTLING by Philip Gross

cover of THE LASTLING by Philip Gross

"a hair-raising tale, told with compassion, humour and unobtrusive thoughtfulness about what 'life on the edge' really means."
Times Weekend Review

"Once you've started this you'll want to drop everything else until you've finished it. It has tension, pathos, mystery, surprises, violence, beautiful descriptions and pitch-perfect dialogue… I've read few adult books this year which are as haunting, as well-written, and offer as much food for thought as The Lastling"
Independent on Sunday

On the edge of civilisation, the edge of madness, the edge of extinction - the most extreme sport of all… Paris is excited.

Her uncle Franklin is taking her with him on a trip to the Himalayas. They are going to all the places that tourists aren't allowed. But when Tahr, a boy monk, staggers into their camp, events take a sinister turn. He has news of a creature so rare that it might be mythical…

Franklin is a man with a vision, something dark and strange. Just how strange, Paris is about to find out.

Oxford University Press 2003 ISBN 0-19-275383-5 paperback £4.99

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MARGINALIENS by Philip Gross

Illustrations by Stephen Hanson

cover of THE MARGINALIENS by Philip Gross

An angry doodle in the margin of her notebook opens the way for Enna into The Margin, a zone where everything that people have imagined, dreamed of or feared might be real.

Meet The Dood, and the terrible Shifty, and some real bad guys from here and now, and things from way back in the dark caves of our mind.

A novel for younger children

Oxford University Press 2003, ISBN 0-19-271943-2 paperback £4.99

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GOING FOR STONE by Philip Gross

cover of GOING FOR STONE by Philip Gross

"… a wonderfully scary and unusual novel." Adele Geras
"an original and enigmatic novel which builds suspense until the final shocking denouement." Books for Keeps
"A sophisticated mix of horror, thriller and love story" The Guardian
"Going for Stone is full of understated horror with a rare quality of menace." The Times
"wonderfully original" The Observer

Nick is out on the streets, in a strange town, with no money, no ID. He's got nothing to lose. Then he meets Swan and the others. Human statues - street performers who can turn themselves to stone- almost. He finds he's good at it.

Soon he and Swan are working with the mysterious Antonin - going for stone. But perhaps it's possible to go too far, in his secret academy.


Oxford University Press 2002 ISBN: 0-19-275308-8 pbk £6.99

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Backlist titles

Several of the books below are out of print or difficult to come by.
Email me for help in getting hold of them. I have copies of some titles for sale myself.

FACETAKER by Philip Gross

cover of FACETAKER by Philip Gross


Classy teenage horror, too close to reality for comfort.

Egged on by the charismatic Denzil, a group of friends convince themselves that an automatic photo booth can show them pictures of a deeper and unsettling reality.


Scholastic, 1999. Point Horror Unleashed ISBN 0-439-01232-5 paperback

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PSYLICON BEACH by Philip Gross

cover of PSYLICON BEACH by Philip Gross

"Shimmeringly well written, in a style which matches its vision of a coastal landscape scorched by toxins."
Times Educational Supplement

"Thrilling 'cyberfiction' that puts most adult novels to shame"
Independent on Sunday

This is dazzling, dreamlike science fiction. It is set in the near future, after global warming has drowned cities and parched the landscape.

In a theme park holiday-resort the rich indulge their fantasies, while 'trashtypes' scavenge at the gates. Real warnings, laced with high adventure, black humour and streetwise poetry.

Scholastic 1998 ISBN 0-590-19808-4 trade paperback £5.99

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TRANSFORMER by Philip Gross

cover of TRANSFORMER by Philip Gross


A young singer in a band lets herself be transformed by an unsettling mentor. Gradually he acquires a power that starts to eat her life away.

Read it once for the sheer excitement and mystery. Read it again for the all-too-realistic sidelights on anorexia, and other compulsions and addictions of our age.


Scholastic 1996 Point Horror Unleashed ISBN 0-590-13382-9 paperback

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THE WIND GATE by Philip Gross


"…a book to be read at a gulp for its excitement and then again slowly to savour its thoughtfulness."
Times Educational Supplement

When Steve persuades him to bunk off Sports Day, Howard sets off for the distant skyline of Dartmoor. He is drawn by local legends and his own half-remembered dreams.

He encounters the flame-haired Cali, who has reasons of her own for living on the moor. But Howard presses on alone, into the haunted realm of his imagination. He has to come to terms with the reality that is waiting for him in the heart of the moor.

Scholastic, 1995 ISBN 0-590-54191-9 trade paperback

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"…a brilliantly inventive variation on the Rite of Passage novel… a compulsive, surreal adventure story."
Times Educational Supplement

This is Philip Gross' first novel. It follows the pampered Abigail, who is thrown out into a landscape torn by endless civil war.

She falls into the path of the enigmatic tongue-tied Fludd. In their flight from dangers on all sides they are desperatly searching for peace. Along the way they meet teasing and wonderful characters… but none is stranger than the sinister clowns Dumbgast and Flabberfound

Faber and Faber 1991 ISBN 0-571-14374-1 hardback and 0-571-16384-X paperback

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PLEX by Philip Gross

cover of PLEX by Philip Gross


"a modern myth, its fabulous beasts sired by comics and computers"
The Guardian

Todd is a loner, in a new town, and his favourite game is inventing monsters. It seems to be a game, until he and the angry streetwise Sly, another loner, stumble on the man they call Mr Multiplex, who can do it for real.

After reading this book, you'll never hear the phrase 'the best of both worlds' again, without thinking what it really means.

Scholastic 1994 ISBN 0-590-54176-5 trade paperback

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SCRATCH CITY by Philip Gross

cover of SCRATCH CITY by Philip Gross


"Philip Gross has pioneered a new form of writing for young readers in which he sets Everest-high standards not only in content but also in the skilful use of form, construction, rhyme and rhythm in the poems. Scratch City deserves to be widely read. It is thought-provoking, enriching and a fine example of craftsmanship in creative writing"
Junior Bookshelf

Faber and Faber 1995 ISBN 0-571-17535-X paperback

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THE ALL-NITE CAFE by Philip Gross

Winner of the Signal Award for Poetry for Children

cover of THE ALL-NITE CAFE by Philip Gross


"an elegant exhibition of craftsmanship and intellectual mystery… You go back to Philip Gross' poems as they re-echo in your head… Here is writing at the upper edge of children's poetry"
Signal Award judges' report


Faber and Faber 1993 ISBN 0-571-16753-5 paperback

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MANIFOLD MANOR by Philip Gross

cover of MANIFOLD MANOR by Philip Gross


"This is a world of playful conceits and chilly intimations in which voices carry on the wind, lost souls press for recognition, doors become mirrors and mirrors doors. Wordplay is the key to understanding, and the whole enterprise is cleverly designed to nudge young readers into an awareness…that through their own writing they can unlock more than they might have bargained for" Times Educational Supplement


Faber and Faber 1989 ISBN 0-571-15405-0 paperback

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Stories in Anthologies


published by Scholastic 1996 ISBN 0-590-13419-1

Close Cut

published by Scholastic 1995 ISBN 0-590-55914-1

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Current titles are available from all good bookshops
To order copies of backlist titles, please email your requirements and we will check availability.
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