Review: Wolves / Author: Simon Ings / Publisher: Gollancz / Release Date: January 16th
The unfortunate truth about Wolves is that, quite simply, the book is a literary disaster; poorly structured, insultingly juvenile, incoherent and incapable of letting any of its vague ideas flourish. You can easily end up well over halfway through the book without understanding anything.
The blurb on the back explains, “At school, Connie and Micky cooked up all the ways the world could end. Years later, will their reunion reveal who killed Conrad’s mother? Will it make them a lot of money? Or, just maybe, bring about the collapse of Western civilisation?” However, the pages within barely make any of this clear. The novel fails to set up even basic introduction to the characters; their backstories, traits and relationships all remaining sketchy and unconvincing. The dialogue is also bafflingly cryptic. It’s as if the objective here was to avoid every single writing tool ever formed.
And then there's the sex and swearing. Multiple characters spend their time dropping f-bombs and engaging in various orgasmic acts. As well as crippling any serious potential for drama, the latter prove to be extremely unimaginative and more unintentionally amusing than anything else. Jammed into the book from as early as the third chapter, they never fail to emerge completely out of leftfield with no actual connection to events, making it look as if the author added them purely out of prurient interest.
Ings notches up the occasional halfway decent description of environments or emotional scenes, but not enough to redeem what is almost a guide to how not to write a novel.