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The Loney

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  5,787 Ratings  ·  948 Reviews
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 priest.

It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skelet
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by John Murray (first published September 29th 2014)
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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 fanatical ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 u
Michael Forester
Jan 11, 2016 Michael Forester rated it it was ok
Recommended to Michael by: jacqueline Haskell
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 beginnin
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

Was ever a book more suited to a grey and drizzly Bank Holiday weekend? (Which it was, when I read it.) Steeped in religious symbolism and quintessentially British bleakness, The Loney is an odd, dreary sort of horror story - the tale of two boys, our nameless narrator and his mute brother, Andrew, known as Hanny. The Loney is a place - a desolate stretch of northern coast, and one of a number of deliberately evocative place names in this story, a
Jun 13, 2016 Paromjit rated it it was amazing
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 an
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
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 plac
Aug 20, 2015 Ruth rated it did not like it
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 more on edge than I was, and more 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.
helen the bookowl
Apr 02, 2016 helen the bookowl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Loney" by Andrew Michael Hurley has been marketed as a gothic masterpiece, and it has been predicted to become a classic. Being a huge fan of gothic novels myself, I was naturally very interested to get my hands on it and read it. I now have and I'm pleased to say that this book creeped me out and fascinated me simultaneously.
What comes to mind the most is the impeccable setting. Everything in this book is gloomy, gray and sinister, and I loved it. You felt like you were standing in front
Sep 09, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid 4 star read for me until about the last 15% and then it just fell apart. Way too heavy on the religious zealotry for my likes and it felt like there was this big build up and then nothing but a fizzle.
Jan 03, 2015 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, what a brilliant book. Almost perfect. The protagonist is a young boy forced to endure the eccentric yearly pilgrimage of his orthodox Catholic parents as they seek God's cure for their mentally disabled son, the protagonist's elder brother. Except that the site of this pilgrimage, the eponymous Loney, a barren stretch of the Lancastrian coast, is bleak and forbidding, populated by menacing locals and steeped in sinister folklore. A palpable sense of unease and dread runs throughout the bo ...more
Diane S ☔
The Loney with its mystical shrine, a mother full of religious fervor, taking her backward non talking son on a pilgrimage yearly hoping he would be healed. But the Looney is a strange place, a place where unexplained things seem to be happening. The questionable death of a priest, who lost his faith after the last pilgrimage.

Atmospheric, but very slow paced, never felt like I got a good understanding of the characters, except for the religious themes. Actually there is much of this book I didn'
Oct 21, 2014 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird
The Loney is a lovely book, in its prose and its plotting and its primary characters and even its darkness, which is dished out slowly and carefully, only truly bubbling to the surface in three or four scenes—though two of those are dark enough to catch on the tongue. At its core, it is a Coming of Age novel, one told in retrospect by the now-adult narrator remembering back to two key points in his life: a specific Easter holiday pilgrimage and his time as an altar boy, events which intertwine i ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Veronique rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I often thought there was too much time there. That the place was sick with it. Haunted by it. Time didn't leak away as it should. There was nowhere for it to go and no modernity to hurry it along. It collected as the black water did on the marshes and remained and stagnated in the same way.

Just finished the last page and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book.

The writing is arresting, often lyrical, evoking bleak landscapes in an amazing way. It often reminded me of the desolation in
Oct 27, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joanne Harris
A rather superior, slow-burning chiller; nicely-handled, subtle, well-written, with some interesting detail and a terrific sense of place. I felt that the pay-off, though satisfyingly opaque, could have been set up a little more gradually, but that's just me being picky, I guess. Blair Witch for bookworms.
Sharon Bolton
Sep 17, 2016 Sharon Bolton rated it it was amazing
A very devout Catholic family travel with their priest, and some fellow members of their church, to the Loney – a wild stretch of the Lancashire coast. They’re hoping to pray for the health of one of the sons - a mute, slightly retarded boy called Hanney. The narrator of the story is Hanney’s brother, Smith. They stay at a run down, creepy old house called The Moorings.

The house is immediately full of tensions. Smith and Hanney’s mother doesn’t particularly approve of the new priest. Some of th
Aug 16, 2016 Mai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jos olisin uskonut kaikkia kauhutekstejä tästä brittiläisen kirjailijan Andrew Michael Hurleyn esikoiromaanista, Hylätty ranta, niin en olisi lukenut tätä ollenkaan. Nuoruusajan kauhukertomukset ja myöhempien aikojen trillerit ovat ehkä kovettaneet lukutottumukseni, mutta ei tämä herkille lukijoille kuitenkaan sovi, eikä heille, jotka eivät pidä uskonnosta eikä noitamenoista. Hylätty ranta voitti Britanniassa vuoden 2015 paras esikoisromaani - palkinnon. Kirjaa on myyty sekä mustalla kannella et ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Giedre rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I wanted to like this book more than I did because of all the good reviews about it but I kept getting the feeling that something was lacking.... Book is well written and all dark and creepy which I always love but I couldn't shake of the feeling that it was a bit pointless... I am still a bit mystified about the whole ordeal and maybe that's why I am not taken with this book. It was an enjoyable read it's just a shame tat it was so un-involving...
Thanks NetGalley for ARC.
Sep 28, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok
This book wasn't really for me.
In a nutshell it's about a young lad whose Mother thinks that her religious beliefs and devotion will cure his brother who is unable to speak. The story mainly focuses on a particular pilgrimage (there have been many) they make with their church group to a shrine on the English coast.
Full marks for atmosphere and chill factor - you can feel the rain on your skin and the desolation in your heart.
Unfortunately I didn't really want to feel those things and the relig
Erica (LibrettoReviews)
Find it also on

Sometimes I try to step out my comfort reading zone and try something new. This is why I bought THE LONEY by Andrew Michael Hurley, convinced by the praise of Stephen King on the cover .
I expected a horror/thriller, something that would make me want to keep reading all night long, but unfortunately , it didn't happened. To be honest I am not even sure I really understand The Loney .
The Loney follows a devoutly religious group as they make pilgrimage to the
Jun 30, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it
This is a slowly paced, meandering book that tries to tell two stories, conveying neither of them particularly effectively. The writing is gorgeous; on every page there's something lovely and swoon-worthy, if you swoon over that type of thing. The narrator, spurred by the discovery of a dead baby in the area near a shrine that he, his parents, disabled older brother, and members of their parish traveled to when he was a child, recounts story of one particular trip, the first taken with the pries ...more
Peter Boyle
Feb 10, 2016 Peter Boyle rated it really liked it
A recent winner of the Costa First Novel award, The Loney has all the ingredients of a classic horror story:
- an inquisitive young protagonist, who has a habit of eavesdropping on the most inappropriate occasions
- his mute older brother Hanny, who religious fanatics believe can be cured by prayer and the grace of God
- their overbearing mother, one of said religious fanatics
- a priest who died in mysterious circumstances
- a creepy old holiday home (owned and decorated by a taxidermist!) on an inh
May 10, 2016 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Andrew Michael Hurley’s debut novel, The Loney, was first published in 2014 by the British publisher Tartarus Press (in a highly-limited 300-copy print run), it quickly turned heads and garnered attention. Shortlisted for the James Herbert Award For Horror Writing, it was later a winner of the Costa First Novel Award, and hailed by Stephen King as “an amazing piece of fiction.” The Loney was saved from collectors-only limbo by its acquisition by John Murray with a 2015 printing in the U.K., ...more
Bill Kupersmith
When I finished The Loney I was thoroughly annoyed & felt that I’d wasted my time with a book that contrived to be a fast read that passed incredibly slowly. About three hours & a nap later what apparently had happened in the story jelled & I saw why one might compare it to The Wicker Man, as well as to some of the stories by Shirley Jackson and H. P. Lovecraft. From my current Christian perspective, this book is a story about two ways not to observe Easter: an extremely constricted ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Kaitlin rated it liked it
I definitely liked this book and the sense of eerie mystery which I got from it, but I went into it a little unsure what it might be. I knew this was the winner of some good awards, and I knew it was probably in the gothic style, but other than that I was a bit in the dark. Honestly, I think that might be the best way to go into this read becuase it's a mystery involving a quiet, religious-heavy community...

In this story we follow a young boy who is part of a Catholic family who, each year, make
Aug 05, 2016 Zuky rated it liked it
Also find my review here:

’”It’s funny, int it?” he said. “How you church people can have more faith in something that can’t be proved than something that's standing right in front of you? I suppose it comes down to seeing what you want to see, dunt it?”’

3.5 stars!

I had really high hopes for this book, more because I’d been wanting to read it since before it came out than due to others reviews, so I really didn’t want it to let me down, and I can’t seem to make up my mind
Liviu Szoke
Mi-e greu s-o încadrez într-o categorie. Parcă nu e nici gothic, nici horror pur, nici thriller, ci o combinație între ele. Ritm lent, foarte lent pe alocuri și prea multă îndoctrinare religioasă pentru a reprezenta o lectură plăcută. Are sclipiri pe ici, colo, însă protagoniștii sunt unii cu care greu poți empatiza. Oricum, o idee foarte interesantă. Singurul personaj de care am simțit că mă apropii cât de cât este Hanny, băiatul înapoiat mintal pentru care se pune în mișcare întreaga operațiun ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Apr 22, 2016 switterbug (Betsey) rated it it was amazing
The cover of the novel, the promise of a weather-beaten, biblical landscape, and the endorsement of Stephen King suggested a spooky read, and I thought, OK, this might be an eerie, diverting book. I wasn’t expecting a sleeper hit, or the literary stunner it turned out to be! Hurley lures the reader into a bleak narrative of torment--a grim, gripping tempest that cut to the bone.

The story, gradually paced, fills the reader with a sense of dread as taste, touch, smell, sound, and visions material
Eric Anderson
Sep 28, 2016 Eric Anderson rated it it was amazing
This novel is one of those rare great success stories in that it was first published in 2014 by a small press as a limited edition before being picked up by a much bigger publisher. When it was published by John Murray last year it received a wide amount of critical acclaim and won both the Costa Book Awards First Novel Award and the British Book Industry award for best debut fiction. Such a book comes with a lot of expectations and I was delighted to find “The Loney” lives up to them. Set in a ...more
Terri Jacobson
Jun 25, 2016 Terri Jacobson rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, british
When the bones of a young child are found on a bleak and deserted stretch of coast in northwest England known as "the Loney," a man named Smith remembers what happened to him when he visited the area as a child. He begins to write the story of the last time he and his family visited the area, sometime in the 1970s.

At the time of the visit, Smith is about 14 years old, and his older brother Andrew ("Hanny") is 17. Hanny is mentally disabled and does not speak. Smith is the primary caregiver of hi
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Cafe Libri: August: "The Loney" by Andrew Michael Hurley 2 11 Sep 24, 2016 01:35AM  
Literary Horror: September 2016 The Loney 17 37 Sep 22, 2016 11:45PM  
What happened at the end? (spoilers) 2 31 Sep 11, 2016 08:56AM  
Can you describe the plot in a linear fashion? 2 47 Aug 14, 2016 08:07PM  
Folk Horror Revival: The Loney 16 74 Jul 13, 2016 06:24AM  
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“Hell was a place ruled by the logic of children.” 3 likes
“I often thought there was too much time there. That the place was sick with it. Haunted by it. Time didn't leak away as it should. There was nowhere for it to go and no modernity to hurry it along. It collected as the black water did on the marshes and remained and stagnated in the same way.” 2 likes
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