Reviews & Press for The Stone Tide
A brave, inventive and profoundly moving book, new English landscape writing at its most expansive and necessary. Gareth E Rees is a post-punk Sebald.
– Ashley Stokes, editor of Unthology
Puts the ‘psycho’ into psychogeography.
– Andrew Weatherall
This collision of the fabulous with everyday life of television, DIY, pubs and hospitals, encapsulates Hastings, whose layers of national history and local legend are uncovered by the narrator, whilst at the same time excavating his own past.
– The Fortean Times, May 2018.
It’s introspective, brutally honest, other-worldly and yet grounded. And once it germinates within the reader, it’s breath-taking – literally. There were moments when we had to stop reading, to let the dust settle on what had just passed…. you’ll read nothing like it this year.
– Bookmunch, read the FULL REVIEW HERE.
An ingenious meld of fact, fiction and various unrealities, The Stone Tide is a bold and inventive read, incredibly imaginative and poignant.
– Warped Perspective, read the FULL REVIEW HERE.
In this wryly autofictional successor to Marshland, its author’s vulnerability to the real meets once again his absolute clarity of hallucination, generating the perspective of a drugged polaroid camera exhausted after decades in search of the ideal seaside experience. It’s a marriage made in Hastings. Simultaneously quotidian and grotesque, The Stone Tide is the funniest, most readable, most intelligently self-searching book I’ve read in years.
– M John Harrison
It turns out that Hastings is not where psychogeographers go to retire, but to buy collapsing, haunted houses, break up with their life-partners and go batshit crazy.
– Will Ashon, author of Strange Labyrinth
Rees’s uncanny adventures by the sea provide rich entertainment.
– Matt Thorne
Beautifully written….Anyone who knows and loves Hastings will love this book, the stories we tell to make sense of the world here and the world after we are gone…. Hastings and its witches and magick and myth and legend and booze and dreams and fables.
– Salena Godden
Remorselessly entertaining. Gareth E. Rees’ East Sussex occult odyssey gives the bloated corpse of the mid-life crisis memoir a salty seaside French kiss of life.
– Ben Thompson
The Stone Tide shows us the town of Hastings as a complex map of past lives, hiding places, and scarred psyches. Geography and history can, it seems, hold a person together when all else fails. It’s a painful way to exist, Gareth Rees tells us, but still – a fascinating one to read about.
– Aliya Whiteley, author of The Beauty
It’s astonishing and heartbreaking, and possibly invents a new genre: Personal Deep Topography.
– Owen Booth, author of What We’re Teaching Our Sons
The Stone Tide is a marvel, almost an All Devils Are Here for its corner of East Sussex…. It’s a cliche to talk about being haunted by a book but I feel Stone Tide has been following me about, rattling its chains, and generality jangling up my thoughts since I finished it. It is about lots of things, obviously, disintegration of a marriage and possibly mind, body and soul into the bargain, a long overdue reckoning with the death of a friend and coming to terms with what it means to be an adult, it is also a wonderful excursion into a coastal landscape, Hastings and St Leonards, a place where the distinctions between the sea and solid ground, the past and present. beginnings and endings and fact and fiction are perpetually blurry. Pointed and poetic it is just the kind of communion with ghosts – historic, ancient and modern, public and private – to make spirits soar.
– Travis Elborough, author of Wish You Were Here and A Walk in the Park: The Life and Times of a People’s Institution
“I enjoyed Marshland, Gareth Rees’s previous book, but this is something entirely different. Whereas his earlier novel sat comfortably in the oeuvre of London psychogeographic writing that has become so ubiquitous in the last decade or so, The Stone Tide, although clearly from the same writer, is instead a work of breathtaking originality.”
– The Psychogeographic Review – read the full review here.
So compulsive that I read it voraciously, a rare treat! The theme of the past, the narrator’s memories and interior life intruding upon and merging with his present reality were, for me, reminiscent of W.G. Sebald, particularly The Rings of Saturn.
– Chris Josiffe, author of Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose
A heart-breaking puzzle that teeters on the edges of sanity…. We move seamlessly between his personal present and past whilst occasionally shifting into real and imagined history. Each element of the journey – whether it be exploring Hastings, re-imagining the final days of the deeply pretentious Crowley, Rees’ own fevered remembrances of a lost friend or the utterly painful examination of a failing marriage and the dreamlike powerlessness to stop it – lays bare the complexities, flaws and delights of the human condition.
– Chris Lambert, author of Tales from the Black Meadow – read the FULL REVIEW here
Hastings as strange attractor pulling @hackneymarshman into a vortex of unstable locality, mythical histories and dark comedy. Also some deeply personal and poignant journeys (outward and inward)across geographies & time. Superb!
– Fife Psychogeographical Collective
A novel in which the central character has the same name as the author: ooooh! Dilapidated Victorian housing: aaahh! An occult puzzle connecting Aleister Crowley, John Logie Baird and the Piltdown Man hoaxer: eeeeee! Freak storms: wooooo! Possessed seagulls, mutant eels and unresolved guilt? Hold me back!
– Turnaround Blog [click to read the full preview]
The Stone Tide explores how moments in a person’s life affect self and those who come after, the unconsidered consequences of both action and inaction. It tells of grief and loss, searches for meaning in memory, how the stories we tell ourselves at any given time, that we consider fact, shape what comes next…. An unusual, deeply personal account that offers up many wider issues to consider alongside a psychogeography of Hastings. Beguiling yet brutal in its honesty, this is a recommended read.”
– A review by Jackie Law from Never Imitate. Read the full review here.
A ghost story of time, place and imagination in turns spooky, funny, thought-provoking, educating and entertaining.
– Vic Templar, author of Taking Candy from a Dog
This book is very like Arthur Machen’s ‘The London Adventure’ in its form; setting out to be one thing – in this case, a weird history of Hastings – it is diverted into something else; the haunting of a man by himself. Rees’ fascination with the entwining of occult figures, mystics, chancers and fakers with odd fatalities and technological change traps him within their own narrative coils. He becomes told as much as teller. In its picaresque way, ‘The Stone Tide’ is also a wholesale and problematic renovation of psychogeography; for whereas the ambulant discipline’s dispersal of meaning in ambience and its diffusive connectivity can usually be relied upon to defer and redistribute the psychic to the terrain, in ‘The Stone Tide’ it all comes curling back on Rees. The result is that Rees has added an ethical dimension to psychogeographical writing that was not there before.
– Mythogeography (Phil Smith, author of On Walking – And Stalking Sebald)- read the full review here.
The Stone Tide is a hybrid of the richest, wildest sort, part memoir, part fiction, all broilingly mad. It starts with a death and ends in ecstatic vision. Chapters modelled as comic strips, historical docu-fictions and MRI-induced dreamquests come spilling from the page, like the track listing of some impossibly eclectic vintage prog LP.
– Storgy Magazine – for the FULL REVIEW, click here.
Incredibly written and suffused with arcane references, this novel is an extraordinary example of psychogeographic fiction as well as a profound meditation on grief, history and the imagination.
– Turnaround UK’s ‘Fiction Pick of the Month’, March 2018
Poignant, darkly funny, revelatory and full of episodes of what it is to be human.
– Brian Lavelle, sound artist.
A curio cabinet of ideas that has no right to succeed but does for the manner in which its pieces are bonded in a very, very personal search for understanding and meaning in the midst of physical and mental struggles. The spiral dark and cathartic, Rees integrates said struggles with the history of Hastings and the curious personages who once called the city home to create a strong undercurrent of artist/writer/person as fraudster, in turn contributing to broader metaphysical and existential questions.
– Speculiction – see the full review here.
Gareth E. Rees proves himself expert diviner of a place’s lines of affect and esoteric currents, and fearless spelunker of his own psyche, in a witty, self-deprecating, and erudite work of Hastings psychogeography. A brilliant book.
– Timothy Jarvis, author of The Wanderer