Read Regional 2019 – ‘Discover brilliant Northern writers’
Aidan Wilson’s misfortune is to be hard as nails
In this darkly hilarious and seriously horrifying book Williams tells the story of Aidan, a vigilante and young offender from one of Sheffield’s roughest estates.
At breakneck speed, we see Aidan’s world unravel as he goes from hero to outlaw, fighting against all-comers and the circumstances he can’t escape. But is he a victim or architect of his own demise?
A brutal and breathtaking account of living with violence in the English city.
There are lots of crime novels, but Nutcase is something different: a novel about crime which isn’t interested in the conventions of crime fiction. The novel is based on a specific Icelandic saga: the Saga of Grettir the Strong.
Nutcase explores the lives of people who live with violence on a day-to-day basis – how it shapes and distorts their lives, and ultimately becomes part of the normality that they live with.
‘A brutal, funny and heart-rending book, it hurtles towards its fate with unremitting pace, energy and cheek.’ —Isy Suttie
‘This is a brutal book. Upon closing the last page, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. But it’s one I’d recommend to anyone. At least, anyone over the age of 18. I hope Williams has more up of this superb writing up his sleeve for us. And maybe next time I’ll figure out how he manages it.’ —Murder Underground Broke The Camel's Back
‘This novel by Tony Williams is completely magnificent. It's based on the Icelandic saga of Grettir the Strong and is set on a housing estate in Sheffield. It's horrifyingly, scabrously funny. It's one of the most distinctive and addictively readable prose voices I've encountered since Magnus Mills. If there was any justice it would be as big as Trainspotting.’ —Luke Kennard
‘Read of the fortnight: Nutcase by Tony Williams
Aidan is a violent thug, but also has a heartbreaking gentleness. We rattle through the plot at 100mph, but everything is described in vivid detail. Everything is ugly and sordid, but everything is captivating and beautiful. And this is achieved seamlessly. Nutcase is one of those books that feels effortless; so natural that you don’t see the brushstrokes behind the masterpiece. I keep going back to reread sections to see how he pulls it off, and I’m honestly still not sure. But I do know that Williams is a writer on fire. There’s no escaping the fact that this is a brutal book.’ —Anna Craig, Sheffield Telegraph
‘A powerful, if disturbing, book that will remain with you long after you finish it.’ —Blue Book Balloon
‘One of the most remarkable things about the novel is that it never loses momentum. This isn't easy when one is essentially describing the lives of a bunch of druggie layabouts; it's a milieu that can soon become a deadly bore. That it does not is both a tribute to the author's handling of pace and a vindication of his choice of style; the saga-form really does suit the material.’ —Sheenagh Pugh
‘These tiny fragile stories are stuffed to the brim with wit and energy and love. Their architecture is perfect, as if a thousand complex worlds had been painted onto a grain of rice. If you’re like me you’ll want to read them over and over to unearth their secrets and find out why they leave such a long and lovely aftertaste.’ —David Gaffney
‘Tony Williams has successfully used the medium of literature to weave in and out of the life of the average person, re-creating those lives for our reading pleasure. The emotion, humour and awkwardness in these tales is the closest thing to real-life I have read in an extremely long time and I would certainly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good book that will keep you on your toes.’ —Sabotage Reviews
‘There are some perfect little gems in this work; my particular favourite was the two-page story about a man who is jealous of his girlfriend’s pet chickens and how he gets his revenge.
It does give a funny, and sometimes wrenching view of the lives of us eccentric Brits.’ —NewBooks Magazine