Observer Best Fiction of 2016
Den of Geek Top Books of 2016
Joe Haddow, Producer Radio 2 Book Club, Top 10 Books of 2016
Timothy Buchannan buys an abandoned house on the edge of an isolated village on the coast, sight unseen. When he sees the state of it he questions the wisdom of his move, but starts to renovate the house for his wife, Lauren to join him there.
When the villagers see smoke rising from the chimney of the neglected house they are disturbed and intrigued by the presence of the incomer, intrigue that begins to verge on obsession. And the longer Timothy stays, the more deeply he becomes entangled in the unsettling experience of life in the small village.
Ethan, a fisherman, is particularly perturbed by Timothy’s arrival, but accedes to Timothy’s request to take him out to sea. They set out along the polluted coastline, hauling in weird fish from the contaminated sea, catches that are bought in whole and removed from the village. Timothy starts to ask questions about the previous resident of his house, Perran, questions to which he receives only oblique answers and increasing hostility.
As Timothy forges on despite the villagers’ animosity and the code of silence around Perran, he starts to question what has brought him to this place and is forced to confront a painful truth.
The Many is an unsettling tale that explores the impact of loss and the devastation that hits when the foundations on which we rely are swept away.
Buy a copy of The Many from Salt Publishing.
‘Menmuir’s homespun horror has flashes of Daphne du Maurier’s ghost-gothic and John Wyndham’s dystopia while displaying its own individuality and air … Menmuir steers a steady course; the result is profound and discomfiting, and deserving of multiple readings.’
‘It would be wrong to give away the precise reasons for his protagonist’s state, but as Menmuir’s allegory becomes decipherable, it is increasingly affecting, and the moment when we understand how the bay and its darkly looming ships might be the warped echo of an earlier, shattering scene is one of great power.’
‘He deserves 10 out of 10 when it comes to the creation of atmosphere, and Menmuir can certainly write… A writer to watch.’
At about the two-thirds point, I started to realize that I was not reading a conventional, if slightly off-kilter and moody, story about a man having a hard time getting his life back together in a semi-hostile village. No, The Many is a horrific, beautifully horrific, tale that I cannot shake, as much as I may like to.
I found myself totally gripped. The kind of book where you end it still wanting answers and yet are unsure of the questions. It’s a wonderful book and the first book I’ve finished this year that I immediately wanted to read again.
‘If it is possible to describe a book as being rich on spare detail then The Many is it, like a stock reduced to its very essence, and I suspect it was this lack of extraneous waffle and digression in the company of Wyl Menmuir’s beguiling writing style that grabbed my attention and kept me wedded to this novel.’
‘The Many unfolds like an unsettling dream, shifting illogically, asking the reader to accept leaps from reality to what seems like it may be fantasy (or may be a matter of perception).’
‘A carefully constructed, beautifully written tale… As a work of imagination, it is quite extraordinary.’
‘An intriguing, evocative and formally ambitious debut.’
- Financial Times
- The Observer
- The Guardian
- Dove Grey Reader
- Dundee University Review of the Arts
- For the Joy of Reading
- On Art and Aesthetics
- Mookse and Gripes
- Information Overlord
- Jaya Bhattacharji Rose
- Never Imitate, by Jackie Law
- Alice and her Looking Glass
- Blue Book Balloon
- Breakfast at Libraries
- Tales from Olympia
- The Readers’ Room
- Becky Lea on Assorted Buffery
- Anna Caig on Murder Underground Broke The Camel’s Back
- Blair Rose on Learn This Phrase
- The Lonesome Reader
- D.F.Lewis’s live blog review
- The Year in Books
- What Kamil Reads (video review)
- Optima Magazine
- Julie Webb-Hartley
Articles about The Many
- Interview at Edinburgh Book Festival for Man Booker Prize. Soundcloud.
- In conversation with Sarah Crown at Spike Island, Bristol.
- A short interview I gave for the Man Booker website.
- An interview for FalWriting website.
- In the mizzle and fog. An article I wrote for Waterstones blog.
- The Undercover Soundtrack. An article I wrote for Roz Morris’ blog.
- My tech life. An interview with the Bookseller.
- Graduate author on Booker longlist. Manchester Metropolitan University.
- An interview with Wyl Menmuir. The Letterpress Project.
- A guide to the Man Booker longlist. Culture Trip.
- Stockport-born author in the running for the Man Booker. Manchester Evening News.
- Write-Track – this social tracker helped one author make the Man Booker longlist. The Memo.
- Waiting for a story. A feature for Bookanista’s Writers’ Paths.
- ‘The Many’ thoughts of Wyl Menmuir. A feature in Durham Palatinate by Katie Harling-Challis.
- From Starting to Write to publication. Article for Arvon Foundation.
- Writing a novel is like building a desk. Article for the Write-Track blog.
- Coastal Calling. An interview I did with Optima magazine.