Author Topic: What new(ish) fiction are you reading?  (Read 343 times)

What new(ish) fiction are you reading?
« on: November 13, 2018, 11:51:51 AM »
Thought I'd start this in a (probably futile) attempt to split up the WAYR? thread. I mostly read new fiction although I'm not sure if many on here do.

Anyway, I've just finished Beastings by Ben Myers which, ironically, isn't particularly new. I've read quite a few of Myers' books now and whilst he jumps across genres (crime, historical, nature and general 'literary' fiction) they all seem to inhabit the same dark, grizzly, northern place. He actually lives down the road from me and in his two crime novels it becomes quite jarring the way he re-appropriates real things to put in his book. (The mention of a female folk band called The Thank-Yous in particular drew an amused 'oh, fuck off' from me.)

Beastings only really has 4 characters, all un-named. There's a mute girl and the baby she's stolen being pursued by the Priest and The Gamekeeper. It's quite a cliched book and certainly of 'a type' - shit and blood and Northern Gothic tropes all over the place - but it was really enjoyable all the same. The ending was pretty full on and I'm still thinking about it a few days later.

I'm still not sure about Myers. His big seller - The Gallow's Pole - won awards and got him a deal with Bloomsbury, and places like Caught By The River are all over him like a rash, but I think he's a bit sixth form at times. His subjects can be thrilling and vivacious yet filled with cliche. Also, he wrote that novel about Richie Manic's last days along with a couple of Green Day biographies.