Tom Williams

Life in the Big Smoke

Plume

By

Fourth Estate 370pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Will Wiles’s Plume begins with an explosion in east London that is felt by its protagonist, Jack Bick, as he sits in a Monday meeting and waits for the ripple to hit his phone. Bick is a journalist who writes profiles and an alcoholic, and the novel tracks a few days in his life as he seeks to push out a feature in order to justify his job at a failing lifestyle magazine, where he has developed a reputation for ‘latenesses, absences, missed deadlines, empty pages’.

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