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  • Published: 25 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781409027133
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400


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

Three solitary characters remember their shared past in a sprawling, derelict psychiatric hospital on the English coast: a turbulent summer in the aftermath of the hospital's closure that culminated in a shocking, life-altering accident. But the more each tries to comprehend the past, the more elusive it becomes. Wreaking is an intricate, labyrinthine novel about the opiate power of place, the fragility of sanity and the fickle nature of memory.

  • Published: 25 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781409027133
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

James Scudamore

James Scudamore is the author of the novels Wreaking, Heliopolis, and The Amnesia Clinic. He has received the Somerset Maugham Award and been nominated for the Costa First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Man Booker Prize.


Also by James Scudamore

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Praise for Wreaking

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


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


An immersion in the physical and psychic ruins of a contemporary Britain which enchants and disturbs, lures and repels. The inner poetry and descriptive mastery of James Scudamore's Wreaking are riches which cannot be forgotten. If you only read one novel in coming times, make it this astonishing and deeply moving chronicle

Alan Warner

This is an impressive work from the critically acclaimed author of Heliopolis

Good Book Guide

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