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The Stranger Times por C. K. McDonnell
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The Stranger Times (edição 2021)

por C. K. McDonnell (Autor)

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233776,205 (3.81)1
Título:The Stranger Times
Autores:C. K. McDonnell (Autor)
Informação:Transworld Digital (2021), 428 pages
Colecções:Para ler

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The Stranger Times por C. K. McDonnell

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I certainly did enjoy this book. It was somewhat unusual but as the characters developed and the storyline improved I started to push on anxious to find out what happened in the end. The storyline centres around a newspaper called The Stranger Times with its editor being quite an obnoxious alcoholic who lead a very unusual publication team. ( )
  imyknott | Mar 1, 2021 |
The premise of Caimh McDonnell’s novel caught my attention because as a teenager I discovered a UK magazine called The Fortean Times, which reported on ‘weird news’ (and still does as far as I know) and went to great trouble and expense to have it imported by my local newsagent for a year or two.

“Publication seeks desperate human being with capability to form sentences, using the English language. No imbeciles, optimists or Simons need apply.”

Similarly, the titular ‘The Stranger Times’ is a weekly newspaper devoted to the weird and wonderful. When Hannah Willis, newly separated and desperate, answers an ad for a position at The Stranger Times she has no idea what it may entail, but she is not expecting to find a man threatening to throw himself off the roof, a wannabe reporter named Simon lurking by the entrance, and then for her new boss, Vince Bancroft, to set fire to his office and shoot himself in the foot during her interview. Still, Hannah needs a job and this is the only one on offer.

“We aren’t reporting the story as fact; we’re reporting the existence of the story as fact.”

Though Hannah doesn’t believe in the litany of the strange and unbelievable that The Stranger Times reports on that’s all about to change when, after Simon is found dead at the base of a construction tower, the staff of The Stranger Times becomes the target of a killer, who has a vicious beast at his command.

“Because, sweetheart, you ain’t never met a short-arsed slaphead quite like me.”

The Stranger Times is an entertaining urban fantasy novel. Set in Manchester, McDonnell introduces a shadow world that lurks amongst ours, where folk hide in plain sight. One of these folk has gone rogue, breaking a centuries old Accord, and the staff of The Stranger Times gets in the way of his plans for murder and mayhem. But no matter what happens, the paper still needs to go out.

The staff of The Stranger Times are an eccentric bunch, editor Vince Bancroft is a barely functioning alcoholic in a permanent bad temper, flatmates Ox and Reggie are feature writers, specialists in the supernatural and extraterrestrial, Stella is a teenage runaway, and pious Grace is the paper’s office manager. I loved their unique personality’s, and their group dynamic which is delightfully dysfunctional.

Though it gets off to a bit of a slow start I was quickly caught up in this witty, weird and wonderful romp full of magic, mystery and monsters. Read all about it in The Stranger Times! ( )
  shelleyraec | Jan 19, 2021 |
So…..clearly I need more supervision. Once again, I blew right past a stack of long suffering TBR’s & went for a bright & shiny new ARC. In my defence, it is the latest from Caimh McDonnell (don’t be fooled by that “C. K.” business). Just a heads-up for fans: we’re not in Dublin anymore.

Welcome to Manchester. And a whole new cast of colourful, odd, rude & entertaining characters. The prologue also signals a new genre. This is a mash-up of sci-fi, mystery, fantasy & mythology, served with a side of the author’s signature snark.

When we meet MC Hannah Willis, she’s not having a bad day…she’s having a bad life. Recently divorced from her wealthy can’t-keep-it-zipped husband, she’s in desperate need of something she’s never had. A job. By a stroke of (good?) luck she ends up at the Stranger Times, which we will loosely refer to as a newspaper.

There she meets Grace, Simon, Stella, Ox & Reggie. They fulfill the colourful, odd & entertaining part of the equation. The rude bit comes courtesy of managing editor Vincent Banecroft, a man intent on drinking himself into a coma. Right away, you know each of these people has a past that needs to be explored & we get hints as the plot progresses. But it’s not all giggles & insults. There’s a spooky, darker side to the whole story.

In alternate chapters, we follow a strange man named Moretti (or, as I referred to him in my head, “creepy weasel guy”). He’s a man on a mission & if some unfortunate souls happen to get in the way….well, sometimes life is messy.

So what we have is the basic battle of good vs. evil. Initially, readers are as clueless as Hannah as to what is actually going on in the world around us. Magic, mythology, scary critters & the stuff of nightmares….Manchester has it all. And it’s the Stranger Times’ job to keep us informed. They’re used to the usual harmless weirdos but clearly there is a new game in town. And not everyone from the newspaper will survive.

This was an entertaining read with well defined characters. Hannah is a young woman just discovering that she has opinions. And a spine. Grace is the house mother who takes care of them all. And there’s definitely more to Banecroft, a man who pisses people off like it’s his job.

The author dials down the silly & replaces it with a grittier edge than his previous books. During one scene in particular, I found myself waiting for someone to gaze into the distance & mutter “Winter is coming”. As book #1, time is spent establishing the cast & setting & some of the funniest lines are those describing Manchester itself. My only complaint about the ARC was the missing newspaper articles that I’m sure will be interspersed throughout finished copies.

If you are new to this author, it’s the perfect place to start. Book #2 is due later next year & I look forward to catching up with some of Manchester’s more peculiar residents. Well, except that guy with the eyeball thing. Never mind. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Aug 20, 2020 |
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