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A Tale of Two Covers: The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Loney UK-small The Loney-small

Andrew Michael Hurley self-published his first collection Cages and Other Stories (2006), and released his second, The Unusual Death of Julie Christie and Other Stories (2008) through tiny Lime Tree Press. However, those days are over. His debut novel Loney, released in the UK in trade paperback by John Murray last year (cover above left) won the Costa First Novel Award, was listed as a Best Book of the Year by the London Times and Daily Mail, ranked a Best Summer Book by Publishers Weekly, won Best Book of the Year in the British Book Industry Awards, and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.

It was published in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt last May with a new cover (above right), and the buzz on this side of the pond was just as stellar. The New York Times Book Review said “The terrors of this novel feel timeless… There are abominations here, and miracles.” Jeff VanderMeer called it “Stunning,” and Stephen King said, “It’s not just good, it’s great. An amazing piece of fiction.”

Here’s the description.

[Click the images to embiggen.]

When Smith was a boy, he and his family went on an Easter pilgrimage with their local parish to the Loney, a bleak stretch of the English coastline, to visit an ancient shrine, in search of healing for Smith’s disabled brother. But the locals were none too pleased to welcome them, and the two brothers soon became entangled in a troubling morass of dangerous rituals. For years after, Smith carries the burden of what happened that spring. And when he hears that the body of a young child has been found during a storm at the Loney, he’s forced to reckon with his darkest secrets, no matter the cost. “The masterpiece by which Hurley will enter the Guild of the Gothic” (Guardian), The Loney marks the arrival of a remarkable new talent.

I find both cover designs quite striking. If I had to choose, I think I might go for the US version, which stands out for its stark appeal.

Both versions are still in print. The Loney was reprinted in paperback by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 11, 2017. It is 320 pages, priced at $14.99, or $9.99 for the digital edition.

Our previous articles in the Tale of Two Covers series include:

The Last Page by Anthony Huso
Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Ellen Kushner on Basilisk
Shadows and Tall Trees 7 edited by Michael Kelly
Alan Baxter’s Crow Shine and Sarah Remy’s The Bone Cave
Swords Against Darkness
Richard Adams’ Watership Down
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, and The Corroding Empire by Johan Kalsi
A Tale of Three Covers: Allen Steele Resurrects Captain Future
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

3 Comments »

  1. Tartarus Press released it in 2014 in hardcover first.

    Comment by Robert Adam Gilmour - April 29, 2017 10:31 am

  2. Robert,

    Right you are! Amazon doesn’t seem aware of the existance of that edition, but Tartarus Press has a page here:

    https://notimeispassing.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/andrew-michael-hurley-the-loney/

    This looks like quite a collectible edition!

    Comment by John ONeill - April 30, 2017 3:26 pm

  3. I’ve been meaning to read this forever.

    Comment by Zeta Moore - May 8, 2017 8:38 pm


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