Reviews

  • "James Scudamore is now a force in the English novel, his voice calm and assured. English Monsters is psychologically astute as a study of collusion and denial, and effective as a picture of time and class; but it has wider reach, as a story about the limits of empathy, the ease of retribution and the difficulty of justice"

    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
  • "Heart-wrenching... A searing indictment of a culture that downplays and covers up horrors... Harrowing, deeply moving and richly insightful, this is Scudamore’s best novel yet"

    Philip Womack, Financial Times
  • "The pages bubble with quiet rage about an elite education system that wrecks even those it elevates... Scudamore is here for the long haul."

    John Self, Spectator
  • "There are few prizes that Scudamore hasn’t been nominated for, and English Monsters will only add to his impressive tally… Scudamore’s insights are keen and his masterfully evocative writing never less than assured… His descriptions of [Max’s schooldays] etch themselves into your brain"

    Daily Mail
  • "Written in cool, clear-eyed prose, English Monsters is a taut psychological thriller and an astute comment on the institutional neuroses that now haunt our nation"

    Amanda Craig, Daily Telegraph
  • "English Monsters is a tremendously moving novel. What can be done in the face of unspeakable and complicated trauma? What if silence, action, vengeance and loyalty fail the person in need? James Scudamore has given us a timely, provocative work allowing past and present, with all their truths and apprehensions, to shift like rising waters."

    Madeleine Thien
  • "Scudamore deftly balances creepiness and tenderness…while retaining a cool anger at the imperial mindset that the boarding school system cultivatesEnglish Monsters is one of the most well-observed novels I’ve read on the way that childhood abuse lingers into adulthood."

    Johanna Thomas-Corr, Observer
  • "[English Monsters] has echoes of Edward St Aubyn’s (more sardonic) Patrick Melrose series and Hanya Yanagihara’s (more lurid) A Little Life. It contains resonant phrases...on almost every page"

    Sunday Times
  • "English Monsters has the pace and intensity of the best kind of thriller, married to an almost unbearable poignancy. I've never read a novel as good and wise on trauma as it moves through the generations, but with such a light touch. There are moments in it that will stay with me forever"

    Evie Wyld