September 2015 Debut of the Month.
Greg is a schizophrenic teenager who also suffers from arachnophobia. He has a lisp, a problem talking and is badly bullied at school, nicknamed ‘Psycho’. He becomes obsessed with a girl, Alice, who has a drunken father and Greg dreams of running away with her. Greg’s English teacher, who has had a traumatic childhood herself, wants to help him and suggests he keeps a private journal. He uses this journal as if writing to Alice. He was diagnosed aged six when he, in an attempt to move numerous ‘phantom’ spiders from his four-year sister, clawed her until she bled. We learn this in transcripts of interviews with a detective trying to gather facts, so we know something dreadful has happened. The interviews intersperse the first-person narrative of the journal. It is an atmospheric, chilling read of mental illness. Very sad. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Finding love - in any of its forms - and nurturing it. Miss Hayes has a new theory. She thinks my condition's caused by some traumatic incident from my past I keep deep-rooted in my mind. As soon as I come clean I'll flood out all these tears and it'll all be ok and I won't be scared of Them anymore. The truth is I can't think of any single traumatic childhood incident to tell her. I mean, there are plenty of bad memories - Herb's death, or the time I bit the hole in my tongue, or Finners Island, out on the boat with Sarah - but none of these are what caused the phobia. I've always had it. It's Them. I'm just scared of Them. It's that simple.
|Publication date:||27th August 2015|
|Publisher:||Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
'One of the most stunning debuts I've read in a long time. The talent behind it is huge.'
Helen Walsh, author of The Lemon Grove
'Alice and the Fly is a darkly quirky story of love, obsession and fear. A disconcerting but beautiful story hung around the enchanting and heartbreaking voice of teenager Greg. -- Anna James, The Bookseller
James Rice lives in Liverpool. In 2011 he completed an MA in Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and has since finished his debut novel, Alice and the Fly - the first chapter of which won the Writing On The Wall Festival's novel-writing competition 'Pulp Idol'. He also writes short stories, several of which have been published, and writes songs with his friend Josh, which he sings in a very high-pitched voice people have charitably referred to as 'unique'. He is currently working on his second novel.More About James Rice