Genre : Fiction
Published : 22 Apr 2024
Jack Bick is an interview journalist at a glossy lifestyle magazine. From his office window he can see a black column of smoke in the sky, the result of an industrial accident on the edge of the city. When Bick goes from being a high-functioning alcoholic to a non-functioning alcoholic, his life goes into freefall, the smoke seemingly a harbinger of truth, an omen of personal apocalypse. An unpromising interview with Oliver Pierce, a reclusive cult novelist, unexpectedly yields a huge story, one that could save his job. But the novelist knows something about Bick, and the two men are drawn into a bizarre, violent partnership that is both an act of defiance against the changing city, and a surrender to its spreading darkness.

PLUME examines the relationship between truth and memory: personal truth, journalistic truth, novelistic truth. It is a surreal and mysterious exploration of the precariousness of life in modern London.


Just brilliant: wonderfully written, beautifully observed, full of penetrating observations and an absolutely gorgeous dark-down wit.

Adam Roberts, author of THE BLACK PRINCE

Wiles’s masterful prose and uncanny ability to find the truth in how we live makes this the perfect novel for our times.

James Smythe, author of I STILL DREAM

With acid wit and an acute eye for the absurdity of our age, Wiles deftly holds all our ailments in balance. Plume is a chilling indictment of our big data present, an acerbic satire of gentrification and trendy disruption, and a painfully frank, deeply affecting anatomy of addiction. I was dazzled by it.

Sam Byers, author of PERFIDIOUS ALBION

Wiles is basically Kafka, if Kafka had spent more time in British hotels and pubs.

David Baddiel

The book is joy unconfined: the reader is sucked along unstoppably, but glorying too with uncomfortable recognition. Fabulous in every sense.

The Spectator

It’s the suffocating, Ballardian sense of place and mental and physical deterioration that Wiles, a design and architecture writer when not a novelist, does so horribly well.

Financial Times

Plume is mired in finality, the London novel – perhaps – to end them all.

Nina Allan, The Quietus

[A] superbly observed how we live now satire on life and media in contemporary London.

The Sunday Times

Self-aware, biting and very funny, Wiles’s novel is a stylish romp through hipster East London – and the black hole at its heart.


Will Wiles’s hugely entertaining third novel resembles nothing so much as a Nathan Barley for the Brexit generation, and is as dark and uproarious as that sounds.

The Observer

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