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
  • "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
  • "A very impressive novel. Scudamore lightly, deftly conjures the closed world of an institution in which the men who spin the boys’ future are both magicians and monsters. The damage of patriarchy plays down the generations, its story told by a young outsider who more or less got away"

    Sarah Moss
  • "From the very title, English Monsters is politely merciless about that most English of traits, suppression. On relationships it is heartfelt and unshirking. What stays with me most though is the tenderness at the heart of the novel. Love we don't choose, that is just there; and how this throws all those loves we try to engineer into the wind"

    Cynan Jones
  • "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