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The Loney: 'The Book of the Year…
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The Loney: 'The Book of the Year 2016' (2014 original; edició 2016)

de Andrew Michael Hurley (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6714025,584 (3.38)32
"The eerie, suspenseful debut novel -- hailed as "an amazing piece of fiction" by Stephen King -- that is taking the world by storm. When the remains of a young child are discovered during a winter storm on a stretch of the bleak Lancashire coastline known as the Loney, a man named Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred forty years earlier when he visited the place as a boy. At that time, his devoutly Catholic mother was determined to find healing for Hanny, his disabled older brother. And so the family, along with members of their parish, embarked on an Easter pilgrimage to an ancient shrine. But not all of the locals were pleased to see visitors in the area. And when the two brothers found their lives entangling with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house, they became involved in more troubling rites. Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost. Proclaimed a "modern classic" by the Sunday Telegraph (UK), The Loney marks the arrival of an important new voice in fiction."--… (més)
Membre:Ohcci
Títol:The Loney: 'The Book of the Year 2016'
Autors:Andrew Michael Hurley (Autor)
Informació:John Murray (2016), Edition: 01, 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

The Loney de Andrew Michael Hurley (2014)

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I had placed this contemporary Gothic novel on my mental to-read list when it was first issued as a limited edition hardback by the specialist Tartarus Press. The initial reviews were promising, and the Wicker-man-like plot premise seemed intriguing - a group of Catholic pilgrims on a retreat in a desolate part of the North-Western English coast where arcane pagan rituals (possibly) survive. The book collector in me is now busily kicking himself for not snapping the book up before it became a mainstream bestseller and a Costa prizewinner.

Now that I've got my hands on a copy (in paperback, alas) I can console myself that it was worth the wait. Yes, this is as good as it has been made out to be, although possibly not for the reasons you were told.

Some reviews have praised the novel's characterisation. I beg to differ. I thought most of the characters remained two-dimensional, despite having rich material worth developing. The dialogue, at times, struck me as too simplistic. The descriptions are altogether more successful. The bleak atmosphere of the Lancashire coast is evoked in prose of lyrical beauty which never ceases to delight. Then again, it must be admitted that to gain effect, Hurley resorts to all the tropes in the Gothic/horror manual, including decaying houses, a preponderance of inclement weather, secret rooms, threatening locals, hints of witchcraft, religious mania... the works.

Where the novel really scores is in its mastery of storytelling. This is the type of superbly paced book which grabs you by the throat from the very first pages, makes you skip meals, keeps you awake at night and then haunts your dreams when you finally switch off the bedside lamp - I read this over the course of a feverish weekend. The really scary parts are few and far between, but the novel is permeated with an uncanny sense of dread which sends shivers down the spine and is hard to dismiss. Days after you finish the book, when its spell starts to wear off, you will start to realise that there were aspects of the story which were not satisfactorily explained, that plot elements which seemed important led nowhere and that the ending was, to be honest, anti-climactic. Strangely, you don't feel this whilst you're immersed in the novel.

Finally, this being a novel about Catholic pilgrims, allow me some comments from the perspective of a Catholic reader. As a fan of classic Gothic literature, with their anti-Catholic sentiment, I was neither surprised nor particularly offended at the negative portrayal of some of the religious characters (primarily Father Wilfred and the narrator's mother or "Mummer", to use her rather sinister petname). What were harder to digest where the suggestions of blasphemous rituals. From the reviews I've read, the novel seemed to leave "secular" readers cold. This leads me to believe that people of a more "religious" bent will likely find certain scenes more shocking (or, if you wish, more effective) - impressionable readers, be prepared. On a more positive note, this novel raises some profound and interesting themes - for instance, should faith lead us to expect or arrogantly "demand" miracles, or should it conversely help us accept with serenity the negative aspects of life? This is a question which the novel explores but leaves unresolved, although it does suggest that convenient short-cuts might have adverse long-term consequences.

To sum up, then, "The Loney" has its share of flaws, but it is an impressively addictive, classy, Gothic page-turner. And even if we don't admit it, we all love page-turners, don't we? ( )
1 vota JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
This has interesting and well written character, a great setting and oodles of creepy mystery. But it doesn't seem to go anywhere, the final quarter is pretty unsatisfying. It seems to let go of all the pieces that have been built up and just apathetically ends.
It reminded me of Doris Lessing's 'The fifth child'. 5 stars for the first 75% and then just all a bit meh.
I fell a bit let down. It was all SO good, and then pfffft. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Beautifully written, this novel is suffused with gothic atmosphere. It is set in the 1970s on the sea in England, in a place called the Loney, which is constantly shifting as the tides come in and go out, so it seems both ephemeral and menacing, as the place you are standing could shift under your feet. There are two houses, both very old and incredibly creepy. In one house, a group of Catholic pilgrims are staying, three couples and a priest there for Lent and to visit the local shrine. One couple has two sons, the narrator and his older brother, who is mute and mentally disabled; the parents hope to cure him at the shrine. The other house is across the Loney, sometimes cut off, where the two boys encounter a strange couple and a young pregnant girl. The villagers are acting odd and threatening, weird things are found in the woods, the woods themselves are changing in ways they shouldn't. What is happening here? We are not to really know, not fully.

The setting is so well drawn that it suffuses the reader. The characters are equally compelling, as we are gradually drawn into their history and their quest at the Loney. This is a slow burn altogether, and while reading it is a pleasure, the payoff is not all that satisfying. The book has a lot to say about faith and the powers at work in the world, but much of what it has to say is vague, and the reader must make their own way without a lot of landmarks to guide them. What happens at the end, and why, is left very ambiguous--frustratingly so, in my opinion. But we do see the effects of that Easter visit on the two boys when they are grown, especially what has happened to their faith, and I think that is rather the point.

Despite these drawbacks, the book is well worth a read just for the strength of its writing. This is the author's first book, and I will be looking for more from him. ( )
  sturlington | Nov 22, 2020 |
The Loney is a rural folk horror novel set in the north of England, dealing with a folk Christianity which blends seamlessly with the pagan ways of yore. It is also a study in the social aspects of religiosity, family and the idealization of the past; characters and setting will reverberate with people who have been raised in a Christian environment. Most of all, it is as British as books go.

Pros:
-Excellent prose, flowing, and eloquent without falling into pitfalls of pretense and archaic language.
-The rural environment is evoked extremely vividly; it seems that the author has deep first-hand experience.
-Moorings (the house where the families stay in their annual pilgrimage), the surrounding countryside, Coldbarrow, the Loney, they are all places that feel intimate with all who have lived in the countryside (not necessarily the English one). You can easily get lost in the interior of Moorings, in the nooks and items and stone walls, wallowing in half-remembered half-imaginary nostalgia.
-Most of the characters are very well written and developed. Normally I do not care about character development, but here the writer does a splendid job.
-The setting comes alive organically through bits and pieces and fragments of description: folklore, décor, discarded items, they all fit in the world, not feeling forced (something that could have easily be with such a cliché setting).
-Bits of philosophical and religious wisdom hidden within the flow of the narrative, like reverie musings.

Cons:
-The plot is quite vague, leaving many branches to fade away in hazy mist. What is more, some of the main plot points are underwhelmingly resolved, leaving an unfulfilled sensation.
-It could definitely benefit from more lore, especially area-specific. Too much is left in the readers' imagination.

Be forewarned: the pacing is slow, the action minimal, the focus on characters and environment absolute.

All in all, it as a surprising specimen of subtle horror, religious/magical realism and symbolic thought. It could be improved, especially plot-wise, but as a debut it is impressive. ( )
  Athotep | Sep 26, 2020 |
Well, I liked it and the setting immensely. The scenes up the coast were evocative, brilliant, inventive, and scary.

The characters were solid and credible. I liked how the story unfolded and was completely immersed in it.

I had a few problems with the end part of the book and won't give spoilers to indicate why because you really should read this book if you get the chance. My minor quibbles are just that.

Read it on a rainy day, curled up with the doors locked. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
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While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, 'Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.' But the Pharisees said, 'It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.'
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"The eerie, suspenseful debut novel -- hailed as "an amazing piece of fiction" by Stephen King -- that is taking the world by storm. When the remains of a young child are discovered during a winter storm on a stretch of the bleak Lancashire coastline known as the Loney, a man named Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred forty years earlier when he visited the place as a boy. At that time, his devoutly Catholic mother was determined to find healing for Hanny, his disabled older brother. And so the family, along with members of their parish, embarked on an Easter pilgrimage to an ancient shrine. But not all of the locals were pleased to see visitors in the area. And when the two brothers found their lives entangling with a glamorous couple staying at a nearby house, they became involved in more troubling rites. Smith feels he is the only one to know the truth, and he must bear the burden of his knowledge, no matter what the cost. Proclaimed a "modern classic" by the Sunday Telegraph (UK), The Loney marks the arrival of an important new voice in fiction."--

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