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With an abandoned degree behind her and a thirtieth birthday approaching, amateur writer Bonnie Falls moves out of her parents’ home into a nearby flat. Her landlady, Sylvia Slythe, takes an interest in Bonnie, encouraging her to finish one of her stories, in which a young woman moves to the seaside, where she comes under strange influences. As summer approaches, Sylvia suggests to Bonnie that, as neither of them has anyone else to go on holiday with, they should go away together – to the seaside, perhaps.
The new novel from the author of the Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse is a tense and moreish confection of semiotics, suggestibility and creative writing with real psychological depth and, in Bonnie Falls and Sylvia Slythe, two unforgettable characters.
‘A gem of a book, bewitching and beguiling. Moore’s writing is beautiful and precise. I loved it.’ —SJ Watson
‘packs a mighty, subversive punch’ —neverimitate
‘So I've ended up with the thought that it's a psychological thriller about life, art, and inescapable fate - lets hope the author thought it was too! In another writer's hands, this would easily have turned into a high drama psychological thriller, Moore takes an altogether subtler approach, letting the menace slowly ooze out; I rather found myself wishing that she'd written Gone Girl ...’ —Our Book Reviews
‘Moore weaves a particular kind of magic from everyday details, and her way of making the banal thrilling reminded me of Alice Furse's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, albeit with a rather macabre slant. Death and the Seaside is a story of manipulation and imagination, peppered with literary references, as much about the creative process as it is about the characters. The blend of genres and influences makes it feel, as many great novels do, quite unlike anything else I've read.’ —Learn the Phrase
‘Death and the Seaside is a psychologically astute novel of power, control and influence which will make you wonder how real your memories are and where your fears come from. Blending layers of memory and imagination there are signposts to the end everywhere, if you only know where to look. Clever and really quite disturbing.’ —Mel Mitchell, New Books
‘It is a gripping tale of two women, of stories, memories and suggestibility.’ —Nat Marshall, The Owl on the Bookshelf
‘✭✭✭✭✭ Moore’s masterful blend of genres and influences makes her third novel feel, as many great novels do, quite unlike anything else I’ve read. In entwining Bonnie and Sylvia’s tales, Death and the Seaside delves deep into its characters’ psyches; the result is quiet and brilliant, unsettling yet thoughtful, dreamlike and thrilling.’ —Blair Rose, Nudge
‘Death and the Seaside is a tense, tightly plotted and darkly comical novel about writing, creativity, the power of suggestion and the quaint postcard version of the British seaside. Moore’s writing is electric, it sizzles, and is alive with things unsaid. Though it’s not a long novel, it is powerful and it certainly lingers, moving in and out of your mind like the tides.’ —Eleanor Baggley, Book Smoke
‘Book of the day. Dense, complex, thought-provoking, it manages to be at once a fairytale and a philosophical treatise, high-octane thriller and literary interrogation. Like the dreams that haunt Bonnie’s night-times, it holds its secrets close, and repays careful rereading. The end of the novel, abrupt and death-haunted, feels as neat and tight as a key in a lock, and sheds light on the mysteries that have gone before.’ —Sarah Crown, The Guardian
‘She is both gifted stylist and talented creator of a new English grotesque.’ —Isabel Berwick, Financial Times
‘The best novels are the ones that leave you with a sense of yearning, and in He Wants, Alison Moore proves her mastery of the medium... As Lewis's desires are revealed, the reader is drawn into a compelling series of regrets, coincidences and reminders that life doesn't often bestow second chances... Moore's tightly wreathed prose and assured plotting ensure a bittersweet longing for more once the final page is turned.’ —Lynsey May, The List
‘How she achieves such big impact with such small ingredients is a mystery to me, but she does. She bloody well does.’ —Gav Collins, Gav’s Book Reviews
‘Moore is a serious talent. There’s art here. There’s care.’ —Sam Leith, The Financial Times
‘He Wants will easily be one of my books of the year... He Wants left me feeling both completely uplifted and utterly devastated, all at once.’ —Simon Savidge, Savidge Reads
‘Alison Moore is very good on modern alienation... She doesn’t so much lay bare a life as shine blinding pinpricks into its darkest corners.’ —Claire Allfree, Metro