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A brilliantly imagined and unsettling novel from the award-winning author of Heliopolis and The Amnesia Clinic

About the Author

James Scudamore is the author of two previous novels. His first, The Amnesia Clinic, won the 2007 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for four other prizes, including the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second, Heliopolis, was longlisted for the 2009 Man Booker Prize. He has held two fellowships at the University of East Anglia, and is on the MFA faculty of City University Hong Kong.


"This stays with you; an eccentric wonder about a disaffected, dying man, living in an abandoned insane asylum and various sinister, satellite characters; it's one of the most lyrical, gorgeously descriptive English novels of recent years - bafflingly ignored by prize judges" -- Alan Warner * The Week * "There can be no doubting the remarkable scope of this writer's imagination, nor the skill of his prose. He has a genius for atmosphere... If Charles Dickens is one influence, Breaking Bad is surely another" -- Cressida Connolly * Spectator * "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 * "A quietly remarkable novel that resonates with universality" * Literary Review * "Wreaking itself is drawn brilliantly with both precise and pungent descriptions... The descriptions of teenage boredom by the sea and adult ennui in the city are stingingly realised... Sharply hewn, inventively structured and unnervingly written" -- Stuart Evers * Observer * "A self-conscious and self-reflexive novel. It is the building itself that looms largest... And though, like Thornfield and Manderley, we find Wreaking broken by time, weather and debt, it commands our attention" * Times Literary Supplement * "A creepy chronicle of abuse, abandonment and unrequited love... So much here is brilliant" * Metro * "Everything we most want to know, the author quietly looks away from, until the story becomes as layered, contorted and interrupted as the collapsing architecture of Wreaking itself. Then time straightens out and speeds up suddenly... Everything connects. Everything comes to light. Everything is revealed, yet somehow the buckling of time induced by subjectivity, madness and metaphor makes it all just as hard to see" -- M. John Harrison * Guardian * "The question of what constitutes madness... is intelligently explored. Bold, grotesque, bawdy...memorable" * Independent On Sunday * "Relentlessly inventive" * Sunday Telegraph * "Intensely imagined" * Sunday Times * "Settings don't come much more Gothic than Wreaking, the derelict, decaying...psychiatric hospital of James Scudamore's striking third novel" * Daily Mail * "This is the work of a writer totally at ease with, and confident in, his powers. A wonderfully assured novel with scope and ambition and with enough of a mystery at its heart to keep the reader hooked till the end" * We Love This Book * "We are left with the characters in our heads for days, and the sense of unease that Scudamore cleverly conjures up" * Press Association Syndication * "A twisted, unsettling tale of family lies and lonely souls" * Shortlist *

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