➶ [Reading] ➸ The Loney By Andrew Michael Hurley ➫ – Horse-zine.co.uk

The Loney chapter 1 The Loney, meaning The Loney, genre The Loney, book cover The Loney, flies The Loney, The Loney f41aef4724a90 If It Had Another Name, I Never Knew, But The Locals Called It The Loney That Strange Nowhere Between The Wyre And The Lune Where Hanny And I Went Every Easter Time With Mummer, Farther, Mr And Mrs Belderboss And Father Wilfred, The Parish PriestIt Was Impossible To Truly Know The Place It Changed With Each Influx And Retreat, And The Neap Tides Would Reveal The Skeletons Of Those Who Thought They Could Escape Its Insidious Currents No One Ever Went Near The Water No One Apart From Us, That IsI Suppose I Always Knew That What Happened There Wouldn T Stay Hidden For Ever, No Matter How Much I Wanted It To No Matter How Hard I Tried To Forget


10 thoughts on “The Loney

  1. says:

    This was a bit of an odd one Maybe my expectations were too high after all the praise I ve heard about it, but I didn t find myself connecting with this in the same way that others have Too much was left unexplained, meaning by the half way mark I was beginning to lose my patience, and I really struggled to see where the story was going The ending itself left me mystified I didn t realise going into this that there would be so much on religion, as it follows a devoutly I would say fanatically religious community Perhaps this is way I struggled to relate to it much It s also a hard book to describe not quite creepy enough to be called horror, and lacking a satisfying enough plot to be a thriller or mystery Saying that I really liked how the author wrote the characters, who were all well developed and realistic to the point that I took a real disliking to certain characters That was really well done The relationship between the two brothers and their way of communicating was also really touching Ultimately, I m not sure whether I d recommend this or not It didn t quite work for me personally, but that doesn t mean I think it s a bad book or one that others won t enjoy.


  2. says:

    This shining star of a book has been so thoroughly praised I feel like a heretic in raising my lonely voice in disagreement Let me start, though, with what I enjoyed about The Loney Firstly, Andrew Hurley s prose is lucid and visual, evocative of the scenes he is describing to the extent that I felt unusually present in the narrative His characters are thoroughly well drawn and that s no easy accomplishment in a multi character novel like this He also manages to engender, from the beginning, an air of heart rate raising uneasiness It s a little like going to a horror movie you know nothing about You know something s going to happen, you re just not sure what In my opinion it is these two elements that carry you along, in spite of, rather than because of the plot By the time I was about half way through The Loney, I was begging to lose patience with the fact that little had actually happened Others will no doubt take the view that the first half of the book is necessary to the building of character I kind of go along with this, particularly as the characters are entirely and in some cases painfully believable However, I still get the impression that the book would have benefited from a rather ruthless editor with a big red pen There were too many plot threads that went undeveloped for my liking What did the existence of rifle actually contribute What was the benefit to the story of the narrator being able outrageously to listen in on the confessions of his parents and others At 320 pages and over 100,000 words the book could have beneficially been tightened to nearer 250 pages and therefore maybe 80 90,000 words.That said, the last 100 pages or so were a mostly well crafted joy The plot pace increased significantly, the characters remained important to me, the scenes etched on my visual cortex Unfortunately, though the denouement, when it came, seemed piecemeal, short on power and failed to answer too many of my remaining questions.I suspect this review will attract me my fair share of hate mail well, maybe not literally but my honest opinion is that this is still a novel in draft that would have benefited from a fair bit of further work I don t in any sense begrudge Andrew Hurley his success with it and I m surely open to the accusation that none of my books have yet won the Costa However, I simply hope that when we see from this clearly natural writer he and his editor will have taken trouble to tie up the loose ends.I shall now take cover from incoming incendiaries


  3. says:

    I love many kinds of novels, but near the top of my list are the following scary novels, coming of age novels, novels with a sense of place, novels with a gothic atmosphere, well written novels, novels set in rural backwaters, novels featuring houses with secrets, novels with emotional depth, and novels which deal honestly with questions of faith in an age of eroding belief How lucky I was to have found The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley s first novel His book is all the things listed above and .The novel is set in Lancashire in the north of England, on a desolate stretch of beach called The Loney, where a wild and useless length of English coastline features the dead mouth of a bay that filled and emptied twice a day, where the tide could come in quicker than a horse could run and every year a few people drowned It is 1975, and this Holy Week as in each preceding Holy Week a London working class family Mummer, Farther, and their two sons Hanny and Tonto , accompanied by a few friends and their parish priest, have come to make a pilgrimage to the local shrine of St Anne They come to fast, to pray, to confess their sins, and to look for God in the emerging springtime that, when it came, was hardly a spring at all Above all, they come certainly Mummer comes to ask for a miracle Hanny, now an adolescent, still cannot speak and communicates only with signs.His younger brother Tonto is our narrator We follow him and Hanny as they explore the Loney, and he tells us a tale which involves one power struggle and at least three mysteries The power struggle is between Mummer and young Father Bernard, whom she thinks lacks proper respect for the rigors of ancient ritual not like Father Wilfred the former pastor, god rest his soul The three mysteries 1 what are the secrets of the old house where they are staying, 2 what is behind the apparent healings among the Lancashire locals, and 3 what if anything has this to do with the sketchy couple and the pregnant young girl who occupy the house across the bay The answers to these questions are often unsettling, and occasionally horrific But as we see Father Bernard s faith in action and how it differs from Mummer s and Father Wilfred s, as we begin discover the powerful and primitive beliefs of the people of the Lancashire countryside, we are drawn as Tonto and Hanny are drawn into questioning the nature of belief itself and our own relationship to faith.Highly recommended.


  4. says:

    Well deserved Costa First Novel Winner 2015 There s a lot that could have gone wrong in this book Every gothic horror motif you can think of forms part of the story, including moors crumbling old house dark and dank weather broken down vehicles woods voracious nature priests animal mutilation witches laughing rooks etc etc It is fuelled by myth and susperstition The Loney is personified, a character itself, full of malevolent will Death lives there natural or unnatural, it has become unremarkable.Yet is is precisely for this reason that Hurley is on everybody s one to watch list Because he made these work All together At once In the same story No wonder Stephen King was impressed His writing style is formidable, that this is a debut is ridiculous His words move the story beyond the plot into a feeling, an atmosphere, an understanding that something is very wrong It makes you feel anxious, uncertain it haunts It s not gory, because if it were, your imagination wouldn t be free to run wild Instead, Hurley uses piercing description to lead you to the door, what you see through it is up to you Many thanks to Andrew Hurley, John Murray Press, and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.


  5. says:

    It begins with the discovery of a child s body Smith is the narrator of The Loney He is looking back on events from his childhood and they are presented with all the innocence of the time and non of the hindsight of the adult Drenched in atmosphere and relentlessly bleak, the Loney is an isolated, ominous and foreboding part of the northern coast where the incessant rain never stops The book draws on some of the best in gothic literature in its storytelling Smith who looks after his mute and numerously learning disabled brother, Andrew, are part of a Catholic pilgrimage They are accompanied by their parents, of whom Mummers looms particularly large, a newly appointed priest, Father Bernard, and others Mummers is convinced that Andrew will be cured The conviction in faith and ritual that underlies the tale and where it falls short is what drives the book The group are staying at the Moorings, owned by a taxidermist, which has its own secrets.Mummers is less than happy with the new younger priest who is accommodating in his faith The previous zealous, ritual obsessed priest, Father Wilfred, is now mysteriously dead leaving behind questions As the boys play, they come across a pregnant teenage girl who intrigues them The locals are less than welcoming and Smith finds himself eavesdropping on conversations An unsettling atmosphere of menace pervades throughout I was particularly enamoured of the relationship between the two brothers.The author writes in beautiful lucid prose He trusts the reader to pick up parts of the story and take it where they will, particularly the ending Those who are uncomfortable with ambiguity might find this frustrating Mummers aspirations for her boys are doomed for disappointment However, I was not disappointed with the book, it beguiles and captures the reader in an unforgettable story that is of its time, the 1970s, and specifically the place, the Loney An absolute delight to read and savour Cannot recommend it enough Many thanks to John Murray Books for an ARC.


  6. says:

    Astonishing literary fiction with a gothic dark undertone that had me alert from beginning to end I read this in hours, unable to put it down and it s a powerfully written novel that doesn t need a fast pace or out of this world twists or in your face horror to get the story across to you Mesmerising and disturbing.The Loney is a bleak place off the coast of Lancashire, England A place steeped in history, religious belief and dark undercurrents A pilgrimage is made back to this mournful place by a group of church goers and their new Parish Priest, what then unfolds is nothing short of imagination genius It s what is not said in this book that makes it so brilliant, it s the way you put pieces together and wonder if you ve arrived at the right conclusion.Miracles Bodies Death Superstition Hidden Rooms The Loney Then there is the..something, the something Oh my word I m truly lost for words where the ending took me It took much reflection on the entire book, beautifully written.Don t expect a bloody gory horror but if it s an atmospheric, chilling, gothic flavoured read you enjoy you will love this as I did I was quite literally enmeshed with the writing from the first word Time just flew by This win The Costa Award 2015 and for a new work of literary fiction I can see why 5 stars from me and long listed for my Top Ten Reads 2016.Let The Loney spill it s secrets


  7. says:

    Fantastic, dark read especially for Halloween and for those who are fans of the first season of True Detective, Just finished this for the second, maybe third time The slightly freaky build up in the first third has little tidbits you may not really note the first time through, but in hindsight, the first chapters contain foggy clues as to the nature of what is to come.ORIGINAL REVIEW The Loney has me A long, malevolent spit of sand reaching out into the cold Irish sea, the Loney also holds ancient dead and plenty of secrets in its depths Beautifully written, this novel entirely deserves all the awards its been crowned with The dark, gothic story weaves together pagan folklore and fervent Catholicism into a mourning shroud here The tale features two young brothers from London, one an altar boy and his elder who is mute and cognitively disabled For years, their devout parents and their parish priest have taken the boys to a windswept retreat to celebrate Easter week, but importantly to visit a shrine where healing waters are hoped to cure the boy who cannot speak It was our week of penitence and prayer in which we would make our confessions, visit Saint Anne s shrine, and look for God in the emerging springtime, that, when it came, was hardly a spring at all nothing so vibrant and effusive It was the soggy afterbirth of winter The remote old estate that the priest rents out was built by a wealthy gentleman who took up taxidermy as a hobby Preserved rats, two hideously stuffed chimpanzees seated on a tandem bicycle, and a sealed jar of urine are part of the odd charms of staying in this place called Moorings The never ending rain and mist, fearsome locals speaking in bizarre dialects, and a mysterious, heavily pregnant 13 year old add twists of fear to the atmosphere.We know, as readers, that this Catholic shrine will not bring Hanny his voice or solid intellect, and the new priest who accompanies them this time does too But a local woman whose blind eyes were the color of unwashed mushrooms can now suddenly see, just a few days later The stinted and long dead apple trees bear luscious, dripping fruit overnight A lightening struck tree, dead for decades, has sprouted a tender new limb There is indeed some sort of strange healing going on, but it has nothing to do with the Catholic faith.Consider this bible quote at the start of the novel Matthew 9 32 34While 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 I know, right Creepy I absolutely adored listening to this as a free audio book and just ordered a used hardback copy of it for my son Does that tell you how much I liked it Even when writing tidbits about rough neighborhoods in London something that has nothing to do with the eerie aspects of the story, this author shines We would turn in our seats and gawp out of the windows at the scruffy, staring children who had no toys but the bits of wood and metal torn off the broken furniture in their front yards where aproned women stood and screeched obscenities at the men stumbling out of corner pubs It was a safari park of degradation What a phrase Sharing details here will only spoil the little surprises for you, but I will say this The Loney is not a novel that wraps itself up with a big burst of fireworks at the end There are mysteries in here that unless you know about the healing folklore surrounding Lancashire, England might leave you wanting a detailed description when the book closes If you know anything about Druid customs or old stories about fairies hiring midwives with magic ointments, then you may be a bit satisfied I didn t know any of these things, but was able to see the parallels between key Christian events and the sordid activities by locals The ringing of bells, stones that make one invisible, and a seagull with a broken wing are little things to notice The tale is a slow, languorous burn, so take your time smoking your way through When the key scene comes, pay attention, and think back to earlier portions of the story If you take your time, things will click with an evil glint.Lastly, if you re a Catholic, prepare to possibly be offended The good news is that the Irish priest who plays the biggest role in the story is a gem, and he has a Labrador retriever to boot Perfect dog to go chase a ball at the beach, but never, ever, ever at the Loney 5 stars.


  8. says:

    I struggled with this story I was never quite sure where it was going, or why it was going there I felt I should have been on edge than I was, and shocked than I actually felt It was dark, but not disturbing enough to really shock me, and it tiptoed around the edges of what was actually happening so that I came away wondering what I d actually just read about Not really to my taste.


  9. says:

    I m always wary towards every ideology people try to force on me No matter what it may concern Religious beliefs, political views, approach to abortion laws, capital punishment, to what I should read, listen to, watch People have brains in order to use them, I guess I don t need preaching to be able to distinguish between good and evil, I don t want my taxes being spent on populist actions of politicians, I don t want to be threaten with every possible plague on the earth and hell fire after my death I don t Well, some of my words are neither here nor there considering the novel but my point is that there is a small group that creates really close community, with strong touch of religiousness I m reluctant to call them sect though sometimes their devotion had something very unhealthy under the surface I can understand that in such an insecure times, in such disfunctional balance in the world people need reassurance and encouragement Some people are strong enough on their own while others need support And there is a boy, Andrew, called Hanny He s mute and somewhat withdrawn, perhaps autistic though it s not defined Every year the group with their priest guide, father Wilfred, set off to the coastal Loney in kind of pilgrimage, to visit the remotely located sanctuary and pray for cure Andrew On the spot they used to stay at Moorings, an isolated and rather creepy house.I pretty disliked the mother of the boys, Andrew had a brother who is the narrator here, her actions though I understand her motives, I m a mother too felt so unexcusable and wrong at times She so desperately needed a miracle that I thought she wanted it for herself, for without the sign from God her faith could fall apart as proverbial house of cards After the death of father Wilfred she constantly scolded their new shepherd for everything, for not being Wilfred mostly, and wanted everything was as before I believe she loved Andrew but she was totally dismissing his needs and not paying attention to his fear.I disliked, in the beginning at any rate, father Wilfred I m oponent to every attempt of threatening, to hell and all that stuff I m not against religious people I m only cautious about an orthodox and fundamentalist views and deeds I was prone to understand father Wilfred in his doubts and weakness and crisis of faith He definitely felt human then than punishing altar boys for masturbating or watching dirty magazines.As expected we have a miracle The believers will see here the hand of God, sceptics will stay, well, sceptic And Andrew in fact will not remember anything of what really happened I very much liked atmosphere that emanated from that novel If you fancy something set in mostly gloomy and neglected surrounding, bathed in rainy and foggy weather, and owerwhelming feeling of despondency you may give The Loney a go If you don t mind meeting a bunch of somewhat alienated people and unfriendly locals you shouldn t feel disappointed either Well, agree the novel suffers from too many loose ends and some threads felt rather decorative than necessary device but overall a very promising debut of the novel.


  10. says:

    Its walls had never contained a family No one had ever laughed there A group of religious pilgrims embark to the Loney, an isolated and stormy coastline located a few hours away from London in England, with the intention of visiting a shrine and curing Hanny, a mute teenage boy who suffers from severe learning disabilities.I ve been dreading writing this review simply because I don t know what to say It s a strange book, if someone asked me to give them a rundown of the plot it really wouldn t take very long and I m not even sure how I d go about explaining it So, as I ve described in the brief synopsis, a deeply religious family embark on a pilgrimage to the Loney, a bleak place off the coast of England, along with their parish priest, where they are seeking help for Hanny, who is mute The story is really about Hanny and his brother, who is the unnamed narrator Their relationship, and how they communicate, is one of the best things about the book Hurley seems to have a skill for intricate character development, as the members of the party who go to the Loney are quite distinct and easily recognisable So, that s one huge positive.Another positive is the beauty of Hurley s writing His descriptions of this stormy, wild landscape are breathtaking at times and really accentuate the gothic feel of this novel The desolate landscape is chilling and there s a real sinister undertone that makes you feel slightly on edge Hurley evokes an incredibly gloomy atmosphere within these pages and it s easy to get swept up in the tension between these characters at times.Now for the weak parts When I started this book, I was loving the slow build up, it was so beautifully layered and I was so intrigued as to where this was going to go And then I just feel like it never really went anywhere This devastates me because this book had SO much potential The writing is stunning, the setting is well crafted, the characters are believable, and yet the plot itself just falls flat on its face The ending was semi interesting, but it just wasn t enough to save it for me.Just as a warning, The Loney is quite heavy on religious themes this wasn t an issue for me, but I know some readers might be put off by this It s not religious in a preachy way or anything, but a lot of the characters are devout Catholics and the storyline itself heavily revolves around some of the Catholic traditions over the Easter period.So I guess I m pretty disappointed I was hoping this would be a gloomy, atmospheric read, and it was to a degree, but I need than that Unfortunately this only gets 2 and a half stars out of 5


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