by James Scudamore

eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

Wreaking Synopsis

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.

The Good Book Guide Review

A painful, suggestive and intense novel about sanity, selfhood and the illusive quality of memory, this is an impressive work from the critically acclaimed author of Heliopolis. It tells the story of Jasper Scriven, a dying former teacher living in a decaying psychiatric hospital he once intended to turn into a school, his adult daughter Cleo, and her troubled childhood friend Roland. Each of them tries to recollect and make sense of the past, recalling the summer after the hospital’s closure, and the terrible accident at its end. Yet, the truth as it is revealed seems somehow more elusive, in this astonishingly poetic and evocative novel.

Wreaking Press Reviews

Scudamore is a richly imaginative fabulist -- Alan Warner Scotsman


A quietly remarkable novel that resonates with universality  - Literary Review


A creepy chronicle of abuse, abandonment and unrequited love... So much here is brilliant -  Metro


A gripping exploration of mental illness... A compelling update of a Gothic novel... The real pleasure of this book is Mr Scudamore's masterly and unflinching prose -  The Economist

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780099523857
Publication date: 24/07/2014
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780099523857
Publication date: 24th July 2014
Author: James Scudamore
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About James Scudamore

James Scudamore was born 1976. He lives in London.

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