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James Scudamore was born 1976. He lives in London.
This is a brilliantly dark and unsettling novel from the author of the Booker longlisted Heliopolis and one of the UK's most talented young writers. Perilously ill, Jasper Scriven spends his days roaming the wards of a derelict psychiatric hospital on England's southeast coast. His daughter Cleo works in London as a news editor, making palatable stories of the world's events and trying to stay one step ahead of her demons. Meanwhile, she is watched by Roland, a hulking, silent figure who inhabits a network of railway arches, emerging at night to pound the streets and burgle homes to order. These three solitary characters are connected by an accident that took place at the hospital in the aftermath of its closure - an event that defies understanding even as it continues to define them. Their attempts to negotiate the past will bring them together again and force them to revisit their actions, however uncomfortable that may be. In this brilliantly imagined and disturbing novel, James Scudamore explores the fallibility of memory, the notion of madness and the way events resound in both people and places.
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2006. Costa Book Awards 2006 Judges' comment: "This delightful book about the friendship between two boys in Ecuador is full of tall tales and fantasy. The line between reality and bizarre fiction is always blurred, always mesmerising."
'James Scudamore is now a force in the English novel' Hilary Mantel 'Breathtakingly good. Imagine Edward St Aubyn writing The Secret History and you'll get an idea of how exquisite and compelling this story about male friendship and betrayal is' Alex Preston, Observer - *Fiction to Look Out for in 2020* When ten-year-old Max is sent to boarding school, his idyllic childhood comes to an abrupt end. Away from the magical freedom of his grandfather's farm, a world of unfathomable rules and arbitrary punishment awaits. But so too does the companionship of a close-knit group of classmates. Years later, as Max and his friends face down adulthood, a dark secret from their schooldays is revealed, drawing them together in unforeseen ways. Who knew what, and when? And who is now willing to see justice done, regardless of the cost to themselves? Spanning several decades, English Monsters is a story of bonds between men - some nurturing, others devastating. It explores what happens when care is outsourced in the name of building resilience and character, and presents a beautiful and moving portrait of friendship.
As a child Ludo is plucked out of the shantytown where he was born and transported to a world of languid, cosseted luxury. Now twenty-seven, he works high above the above the sprawling metropolis of Sao Paulo for a vacuous 'communications company'. But this is not his world, and this is not a simple rags-to-riches story: Ludo's destiny moves him around like a chess piece, showing him both extremities of opulent excess and abject poverty, taking him to the brink of madness and brutality. By the author of The Amnesia Clinic and winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.
Anti, a quiet English boy living in Quito, Ecuador, strikes up a friendship with flamboyant classmate Fabian, who is everything Anti isn't: handsome, athletic and popular. What's more, he lives with his rakish Uncle Suarez, while Anti is stuck in the dull ex-pat world inhabited by his parents. Suarez, a storyteller par excellence, infects the boys with his passion for outlandish tales, and before long their relationship becomes one conducted entirely through the telling of tales. One subject, however, is taboo: Fabian's parents. But when details surrounding their disappearance begin to emerge, Anti decides to console his friend with a story suggesting that Fabian's mother may be living at a bizarre hospital on the coast for patients with memory loss. With confused emotions and reality losing its tenuous grip, the boys embark on a quixotic voyage across Ecuador in search of an 'Amnesia Clinic' that may, or may not exist. The Amnesia Clinic won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize.