Jack Bick is an interview journalist at a glossy lifestyle magazine. From his office window he can see a black column of smoke in the sky, the result of an industrial accident on the edge of the city. When Bick goes from being a high-functioning alcoholic to being a non-functioning alcoholic, his life goes into freefall, the smoke a harbinger of truth, an omen of personal apocalypse. An unpromising interview with Oliver Pierce, a reclusive cult novelist, unexpectedly yields a huge story, one that could save his job. But the novelist knows something about Bick, and the two men are drawn into a bizarre, violent partnership that is both an act of defiance against the changing city, and a surrender to its spreading darkness.
With its rich emotional palette, Plume explores the relationship between truth and memory: personal truth, journalistic truth, novelistic truth. It is a surreal and mysterious exploration of the precariousness of life in modern London.
Reviews of Plume
Praise for Plume:
‘In Plume, Will Wiles both re-invents and murders the London novel, in a spectacular act of evil, surgical intensity’ Warren Ellis
Praise for The Way Inn:
‘Wiles, a design and architecture journalist, has a magnificent sense of comic timing but also a handy way with sudden violence. As Double’s life begins to unravel under the weight of new revelations, even a clock radio seems to develop an ominous consciousness … “The Way Inn” is Terence Conran meets HP Lovecraft. It is Bulgakov staged in the Tate, Kafka as a new Ikea furniture range. Wiles writes beautiful prose, stages exquisitely painful set-piece scenes of high comedy, and in Neil Double has created a John Self for the Marriott generation. “The Way Inn” is funny, clever and thrilling, its central conceit disturbing enough to demand that you read it outside, if you can.’ Lloyd Shepherd, Guardian
‘Chilling … The twisted novelty of the central idea is neat and memorable.’ Sunday Times
‘An ingenious and smartly funny novel’ Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail
‘A follow-up to last year’s “Care Of Wooden Floors”, taking a simple premise – a businessman staying in a chain of bland hotels – and horrifyingly turning it on its head. It’ll make your skin crawl’ Shortlist
Praise for ‘Care of Wooden Floors’:
‘Funny and richly poetic…a surreal, farcical, original first novel’ The Times Books of the Year
‘A very funny novel combining schadenfreude and belly laughs. Independent
‘A terrific first novel, written with a very engaging deadpan wit, and an understated sense of the absurd.’ Kate Saunders, The Times
‘Ingenious … his story has something in common, in terms of manic sensitivity, with Edgar Allan Poes’ The Tell-Tale Heart…[with] deft and precise descriptive asides. This is a smart and polished debut.’ Daily Telegraph