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The Stranger Times Reviews

The Stranger Times by C.K.McDonnell

The Stranger Times

C.K.McDonnell

4.33 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Bantam Press
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 14 Jan 2021
ISBN: 9781787633353

There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them .

4 stars out of 5
James Lovegrove
14 Feb 2021

"What saves the book from being just a retread of rather familiar material is McDonnell’s blisteringly comic-caustic tone"

What saves the book from being just a retread of rather familiar material is McDonnell’s blisteringly comic-caustic tone. The one-liners zing, the dialogue is a tennis match of witty banter, and the jokes and characterisation are often refreshingly non-PC.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
15 Jan 2021

"McDonnell combines gonzo humour and neat character studies in the first volume of an urban fantasy series"

Standup comedian and writer Caimh McDonnell’s first novel as CK McDonnell, The Stranger Times (Bantam, £14.99), has already been optioned for TV, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a filmic romp with great characters, a jet-propelled plot, and a winning premise. The Stranger Times is a down-at-heel newspaper staffed by a gallery of lovable hacks and edited by a cynical, splenetic alcoholic. Based in a derelict Mancunian church, the paper covers wacky supernatural, occult and bizarre stories – think the Fortean Times run on a shoestring.

5 stars out of 5
Sarah Ditum
7 Jan 2021

"There’s no disgrace in being formulaic when the formula is good... ripping entertainment from start to finish."

McDonnell packs jokes into every layer of his writing — narration, description, dialogue — and they always propel, rather than hold up, the business of storytelling, which is the real test of a comic author. (Take that crack about the Mancunian climate; it gets a laugh, but it also tells you that the character in question is ever so slightly out of his depth.) He’s also got an enjoyable sense of the macabre; these dark forces are not messing around. There’s no disgrace in being formulaic when the formula is good, and The Stranger Times is ripping entertainment from start to finish.