The Loney

The Loney

Book - 2016
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A brilliantly unsettling and atmospheric debut full of unnerving horror - ' The Loney is not just good, it's great. It's an amazing piece of fiction' Stephen King

Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector.

Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure.

In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end . . .

Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother's care.

But then the child's body is found.

And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.

'This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill' Observer

'A masterful excursion into terror' The Sunday Times

Publisher: London :, John Murray,, 2016
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781473619852
Branch Call Number: FIC Hurle
Characteristics: 360 pages


From the critics

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Jan 08, 2018

The best part of this novel is the atmospheric descriptions of the north-west coast of England in Lancashire (perhaps around Silverdale or Leighton Moss?) in the 1970s. While it does carry the reader along, I was somewhat disappointed in the end by the story itself. I did find quite a bit of humour in the book.

May 05, 2017

there are certain authors I "click" with because of the way they transform imagination into print. this is an example. a spell is woven with words and you're hooked, can't put the darn book down. can't wait to be able to get back and read it. maybe others won't have the same experience...that's a shame for the loney was more than just another read for me. I'd even buy this book for my personal library. believe me - I read a lot of books. most are stories that have the same old malarkey and I have to wonder how they ever got published in the first place. this is a unique tale. take the chance and see for yourself.

multcolib_alisonk Aug 08, 2016

If you're a fan of Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White and other atmospheric and creepy tales, give this one a try.
A group of devout Catholics go for an Easter retreat to a small town on the coast, where they hope for a miracle. Mundane aspects of everyday British life are contrasted with the subtle menace of villagers who don't care for outsiders and have their own 'ways'. The tension builds slowly, but there are still parts you won't want to read just before bedtime.

Jun 29, 2016

How best to describe ‘The Loney’? I would call ‘The Loney’ a religious grotesque.
A small group of devout Catholics make their Easter pilgrimage in 1976 from London to Lancashire, stopping at a bleak desolate place called the Loney somewhere along the northwest coast of England, a “wild and useless length of English coastline”. Their kindly, good-natured priest, Father Bernard, drives the bus.
Among the passengers on the bus are two teenage boys, fifteen year-old Tonto and his older brother Hanny who has been silent and mute his entire life. The people on the pilgrimage, especially his mother Mummer, are praying for a miracle, that somehow Hanny will begin to talk.
Mummer has baked a cake to be eaten after the Good Friday service.
“She placed the cake in the center of the table and everyone, apart from Miss Bunce, made a fuss over it, praising the detail on Jesus’ face, how intricate the thorns were, how the cochineal coloring had made the blood trickling down his cheek so vibrantly red.“
Perhaps no image captures the spirit of ‘The Loney’ better than that red food coloring used on the cake to show the blood trickling down Jesus’ face from the crown of thorns. This is one creepy religious novel.
The story is told from the point of view of the younger brother Tonto who Mummer expects to later become a priest. Tonto has a sharp astute mind, and he can see that his mother might be overdoing it when she sticks her hand down Hanny’s throat to pull food out while he is supposed to be fasting.
Father Bernard does have the best interests of all of his parishioners in mind. He is a pleasant good-hearted fellow who does occasionally take a drink and who may even stop off at a local tavern for a while. He is not at all like the priest he replaced, Father Wilfrid, who died under mysterious circumstances. This small band of parishioners is still in thrall to Father Wilfrid who was strict and devout, and they are not all ready to accept the avuncular Father Bernard as their head.
‘The Loney’ is an old-fashioned traditional scary novel loaded with Catholic ritual. It is still a very likeable tale. The portrayal of Father Bernard is the most positive I have seen for any priest for many years. Sure, there are some plot points and peripheral characters that aren’t very clear, but this reader did not mind because the main characters are so sharply and wonderfully drawn. ‘The Loney’ does what all the better novels do, it draws you in so you become part of the story.

Grade: A-

Jun 28, 2016

Featured in the Hamilton Spectator's Must-Read Books of the Summer 2016

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