BOOK REVIEW: The Stone Tide by Gareth E. Rees


Gareth Rees is a man in crisis. Newly arrived in Hastings and mortgaged to the guts in a crumbling Victorian fixer-upper, Rees takes refuge in his pet project, a written history of his new home town, one peopled by cranks, inventors and master magicians. But as renovations stall and a wedge grows between him and his family, the words dry up and he finds himself pacing the dimly lit promenades of his seaside home in search of inspiration. If only his problems stopped there. Throw sickness, heartbreak, freak tides and looming mortality into the mix, and you have quite the conundrum.

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. A typical sentence reads ‘after my discovery that there might be phantoms in my balls, I started to get terrible visions‘. And yet this is also a book with tremendous heart, invested in what it means to try (and fail) to begin again. Rees writes with a wry, engaging voice and is never less than aware of his own ridiculousness.

Rees’ first book, Marshlands, was a delight, semi-mythic trawl across the uncivilised edges of London. The Stone Tide carries that same torch out of the capital but feels like a more mature read. At the novel’s centre is a careful examination of grief. Rees writes affectingly of the loss of a childhood friend and the strange shame of having lived out his life without him. His reflections on nostalgia and aging lend a human tone to his writing’s wilder palette and leave us feeling that, of all the strangeness and secrets lurking in the shadows of our collective pasts, understanding ourselves is often the greatest mystery.

The Stone Tide is available to purchase from Influx Press here.


Gareth E. Rees


Gareth E. Rees is the founder and editor of the website Unofficial Britain, and author of Marshland(Influx Press, 2013). His work has featured in anthologies including An Unreliable Guide to London(Influx Press), Mount London (Penned in the Margins), Acquired for Development By… [Influx Press], Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (Rowman & Littlefield), The Ashgate Companion to Paranormal Cultures (Ashgate), and the spoken word album A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes (Clay Pipe Music). He lives in Hastings with his two daughters and a dog named Hendrix.

Reviewed by Nick Garrard




Twenty-four short stories, exclusive afterwords, interviews, artwork, and more.

From Trumpocalypse to Brexit Britain, brick by brick the walls are closing in. But don’t despair. Bulldoze the borders. Conquer freedom, not fear. EXIT EARTH explores all life – past, present, or future – on, or off – this beautiful, yet fragile, world of ours. Final embraces beneath a sky of flames. Tears of joy aboard a sinking ship. Laughter in a lonely land. Dystopian or utopian, realist or fantasy, horror or sci-fi, EXIT EARTH is yours to conquer.

EXIT EARTH includes the short stories of all fourteen finalists of the STORGY EXIT EARTH Short Story Competition, as judged by critically acclaimed author Diane Cook (Man vs. Nature) and additional stories by award winning authors M R Cary (The Girl With All The Gifts), Toby Litt (Corpsing), James Miller (Lost Boys), Courttia Newland (A Book of Blues), and David James Poissant (The Heaven of Animals), and exclusive artwork by Amie Dearlove, HarlotVonCharlotte, CrapPanther, and cover design by Rob Pearce.

Visit the STORGY SHOP here


Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing  the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.

PayPal-Donate-ButtonSign up to our mailing list and never miss a new short story.

Follow us on:

facebooktwitterinstagrambuttonBOOK REVIEWS

open-book-2FILM REVIEWS

camera-159581_960_720AUTHOR INDEX

author graphic



Your support continues to make our mission possible.

Thank you.

black tree

2 comments on “BOOK REVIEW: The Stone Tide by Gareth E. Rees”

Leave a Reply