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  • Published: 6 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448196661
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

The Hypnotist

A powerful crossover story of race and friendship - WINNER OF THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION'S YOUNG QUILLS AWARD 2017


Jack has left his native Ireland and is making a new life as Professor of Neurology at a university in the American South. He has certain skills, honed over his lifetime, that he mostly keeps hidden. Skills in hypnotism and mind control . . .

Thirteen-year-old Pip is plucked out of an orphanage by a farmer, hired as a farm-hand, and as carer for the farmer's wife. But Pip is black. The farmer and his wife are white. And this is 1960s America, where race defines you and overshadows everything.

As racial tensions reach boiling point with a danger closer to home and more terrifying than either thought possible, Jack and Pip's lives become inextricably linked. And Jack's hypnotic skills are called on as never before . . .

  • Published: 6 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781448196661
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the author

Laurence Anholt

Born in 1959 to a Dutch family with Persian roots, Laurence Anholt spent his early years in Holland. He trained as a painter at Falmouth School of Art where he met his wife, the artist, Catherine Anholt. Laurence went on to take a Master’s Degree in Fine Art at the Royal Academy in London.

The Anholts have produced more than 200 children’s books, which have been translated into 30 languages. Their titles have won numerous awards including the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award on two occasions. Many of their books are written by Laurence and illustrated by Catherine, but Laurence has written for several other artists including Arthur Robins and Tony Ross, and in addition, he self-illustrates his Anholt’s Artists series, an introduction to great art for young children.

Laurence’s first full-length novel, The Hypnotist was published by Penguin Random House in 2016.

The Anholts have three grown up children: Claire works for the United Nations in Geneva, and twins, Tom and Maddy are a Berlin based artist and an actor in London. They also have twin grandchildren, Nina and Felix.

Catherine and Laurence live in an ‘upside down’ eco-house, surrounded by wildflower meadows overlooking the sea in Devon. Laurence’s passions are family, art, bees, books and Buddhism.

Praise for The Hypnotist

The Hypnotist explores what it is to be kind, to be curious, to love and to express yourself – to be human, in other words - in the face of intense racial and sexual bigotry, cruelty and violence. It’s a passionate, important novel

Amnesty International

Full of suspense and heartbreak, this is a powerful account of survival amid irrational, omnipresent hatred


A beautifully written story . . . it's hard to believe this is Anholt's first full-length novel . . . I can't wait to check out his next offering!

Scottish Book Trust

I was absolutely gripped: compelling storytelling with a powerful anti-racist message

The Bookseller

Portray[s] a stunningly accurate historical picture of the American South in the 60’s. A fascinating tale told with confidence

Askeys & Holts Children's Newsletter

A highly impressive first novel by Laurence Anholt . . . every reader will be swept into this highly visual world and the drama that develops within it


A thought provoking read perfect for book groups from teenage to adult

Evening Post

The Hypnotist unfolds steadily and beautifully, ramping up the fear, tension and hope faced by young black men in 1960s America … filled with heart and history that shocks and educates, but ultimately leaves you believing that, even in the most brutal and unstable environments, however alone you might think you are, there’s still kindness to be discovered

Press Association, Children’s Book of the Week

This fascinating hybrid of paranormal and historical fiction follows Jack, an Irish neurologist with secret hypnotic skills and Pip, a young black farmhand. The pair’s lives merge when Jack relocates to the American South and must face the realities of racial tension as well as come to terms with his own strange powers

Buzzfeed.com, 28 YA Books Everyone Should Read

A compelling read . . . a wonderful blend of kitchen sink realism, accurate historical detail and an atmospheric dollop of magical realism . . . it draws you in from the first page and keeps your attention until the last


Successfully captures a country sweltering in prejudice and oppression . . . I think copies of it should stand proudly on the shelves of every history classroom in the country

Times Educational Supplement

This is a gripping novel looking at a turbulent period of American history, and not shying away from the difficult and once everyday aspects of racism


A wonderful book with real heart . . . I can’t recommend it highly enough

American Historical Novel Society

A remarkable story and a thoroughly compelling read which I was unable to put down

Carousel Magazine

A thrilling cross-over novel that brings us home to mutual respect and love - if there has to be one choice, this is it

Devon Life Magazine

I loved this moving historical story set in the American Deep South

BookClubBox Books of the Year

A nod to The Color Purple and Great Expectations, this is a thought provoking read perfect for book groups from teenage to adult

Drawing on Books

A powerful evocation of a period of prejudice and injustice rarely covered in fiction for young readers

Armadillo Magazine, Editor’s Choice

The first thing to say about this book is that it is a very good read. The second is that The Hypnotist tackles some very heavy themes

PlanetBooks Australia

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