Monday, 29 May 2017

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

"There is evil in the world. There is definitely evil in this world of ours. We carve monuments to our fallen, engrave them with the names of those whose lives were snuffed out when trying to stop evil"

As a teenager I loved weekends in the Lake District; staying over at youth centres trying to get to grips with orienteering and hiking but generally just messing about with mates in the 'great outdoors'. Six Stories took me right back to those days though, thankfully, my own memories are not quite so dark.

Six Stories is the debut novel from Matt Wesolowski  - winner of various awards for his short fiction but published in long form for the first time by Orenda (thanks for the advanced copy!).

The novel is essentially a crime thriller but its Wesolowski's unique narrative structure that sets Six Stories apart. The story is a series of podcasts which set out to investigate an historical murder at an outward-bounds centre in Northumberland. The host of the podcast, Scott King, looks at the case from the perspective of a different characters in each episode. In terms of storytelling this works and allows the full events to unfold as they would if you, the reader, were the investigators.

The structure allows for 6 different perspectives that allow multiple viewpoints on the events that unfold. The narrative builds into a drug and hormone filled nightmare that leaves you doubting the authenticity of all the narrators.

The Northumberland setting works really well as a 'place that conjures monsters of the mind' like the local myth of 'Nanna Wrack' or the Canadian 'Qalupalik'.  Wesolowski is a great writer who has clearly been honing his craft for sometime. This is a great story with a unique narrative structure that delivers a punchy twist. Read it now before it hits the bestseller list. 

I read this novel in paperback on the train into Marylebone

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski published by Orenda, 320 pages.      

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