The Many by Wyl Menmuir FICTION

 The Many by Wyl Menmuir, Salt Publishing, £8.99


Like an iceberg!  What you see above is all shining and glittering, a deft brevity of prose and masterful storytelling. The wonder of this novel is that this lightness of touch above is hauling along a hulking great dense looming darkness beneath. A relentless groaning weight, a behemoth of grief and loss moving inevitably forward.

On the surface it is the story of Timothy and Ethan and the other people in their lives, those living and those lost to them.  As the story unfolds it widens to encompass the universal anguish caused by all kinds of loss. Loved ones, friendships, a way of life that once held a community together which no longer has any real purpose, the poisoning of the sea and its loss as a source of food and joy and employment. There is a whole load of anguish here. Indivdual, communal, environmental, world. Fish.

A masterclass in doom laden, claustrophobic, creepy, mysteriousness. And despair...

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2016!  

Scooting in at just 141 pages a novella sure to put a lot of noses out of joint as not hefty enough for the big prize.

But I am throwing my hat in the ring. (Update! Didn't get shortlisted but you should still read it!)

"The Many" is this years' "Grief is the Thing With Feathers" only with scales.

- R