The Octopus Man
‘An exceptional work . . . A brilliant and necessary book’ Douglas Stuart, author of the Booker Prize-winning SHUGGIE BAIN
‘THE OCTOPUS MAN reminds us that behind the words “mental health” lies a universe of WILD CREATIVITY, HUMANITY and SPANKING BIG LIFE. Now is the time for this book.’ DBC Pierre, author of the Booker Prize-winning VERNON GOD LITTLE
‘Funny. Disturbing. Brilliant’ Lily Allen
‘A joy to read’ Johnny Flynn
Once an outstanding law student Tom is now lost in the machinery of the British mental health system, talking to a voice no one else can hear: the voice of Malamock, the Octopus God – sometimes loving, sometimes cruel, but always there to guide him through life.
After a florid psychotic break, the pressure builds for Tom to take part in an experimental drugs trial that promises to silence the voice forever. But no one, least of all Tom, is prepared for what happens when the Octopus God is seriously threatened.
Deeply moving and tragi-comic, THE OCTOPUS MAN takes us into the complex world of voice-hearing in a bravura literary performance that asks the fundamental questions about belief, meaning, and love.
An exceptional work . . . What a brilliant and necessary book. A funny, heart-expanding story of a man trapped between the God-like voice in his head and society's desire for him to be 'normal.' It's a deeply compassionate portrait and I felt the frustration of battling a broken mental healthcare system, and the guilt and hope of everyone who loves poor, cheeky, troubled Tom and wants so badly for him to get better -- DOUGLAS STUART, author of Shuggie Bain, Winner of the 2020 Booker Prize Award Absolutely wondrous. The characterisation, the humour, the whole glorious swirl of it -- NIALL GRIFFITHS, author of Broken Ghost, Winner of the 2020 Welsh Book of the Year Award Magnificent novel... beautifully rendered and very funny. The bedraggled England here is as vivid as Jez Butterworth's version in Jerusalem. Gibson is surely the playwright's heir in vision and wit... You will be hooked, you will laugh and possibly cry. And you will know by page four that this hilarious and compassionate novel really matters. -- Horatio Clare * THE SPECTATOR * Gibson... has achieved something remarkable... full of jokes, capers, black ironies and a wild juxtaposition between the mundane and the transcendental. -- Sam Leith * Book of the Month in THE OLDIE * Deliriously good! * ES MAGAZINE * Jasper Gibson's bravura new novel is timely and revelatory... Gibson skilfully combines black comedy with a compassionate and searching examination of what madness is and whether "normal" life is itself a state of mind. -- Alexander Larman * THE OBSERVER * The Octopus Man reminds us that behind the words "mental health" lies a universe of wild creativity, humanity, and spanking big life. A beautiful thing, this is The Dharma Bums meet Clozapine. Now is the time for this book -- DBC PIERRE, author of Booker Prize-winning Vernon God Little The Octopus Man was a joy to read. I cried with laughter and I just plain cried. It is one of the wittiest and most humane pictures of a person and their mind - a timely conversation about mental health from within the perspective of the subject. It's a beautiful book and so incredibly funny. It was astounding to me how funny it was sometimes. * JOHNNY FLYNN * A man suffering from schizophrenia doesn`t sound like it has comic potential, but this novel shows good storytelling can always confound expectations. -- Robbie Millen * TIMES BOOKS NEWSLETTER * Funny. Disturbing. Brilliant -- LILY ALLEN An engaging novel about a man with a voice in his head evokes the radical politics of the anti-psychiatry movement. -- Houman Barekat * GUARDIAN * A compassionate, witty novel about being lost in the maze of the British mental health system. -- Martin Chilton * THE INDEPENDENT * Cleverly written . . . very funny, and it can be interpreted in a number of different ways * Sydney Morning Herald *
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