The Octopus Man

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781474616119

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‘Astonishing’ Stephen Fry
‘Exceptional’ Douglas Stuart, author of the Booker Prize-winning SHUGGIE BAIN
‘Now is the time for this book’ DBC Pierre, author of the Booker Prize-winning VERNON GOD LITTLE
‘Funny. Disturbing. Brilliant’ Lily Allen

Funny, smart, damaged, Tom is 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 fill his life with meaning. Once an outstanding law student, Tom is now cared for by his long-suffering sister Tess, who encourages him into an experimental drugs trial that promises to silence the voice forever. The Octopus God, however, does not take kindly to being threatened…

Deeply moving and tragi-comic, The Octopus Man is a bravura literary performance that asks fundamental questions about belief and love.


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
Funny. Disturbing. Brilliant
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
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.
A compassionate, witty novel about being lost in the maze of the British mental health system.
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
A man suffering from schizophrenia doesn`t sound like it has comic potential, but this novel shows good storytelling can always confound expectations.
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
An engaging novel about a man with a voice in his head evokes the radical politics of the anti-psychiatry movement.
Houman Barekat, GUARDIAN
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
Deliriously good!
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
Cleverly written . . . very funny, and it can be interpreted in a number of different ways
Sydney Morning Herald
A brave, bold and brilliant exploration of the forces that drive us mad and the wild, crazy journey's back to ourselves and each other. Scary, hilarious and touching. I loved it
DR JACQUI DILLON, Hearing Voices Network
What an astonishing work The Octopus Man is. Schizophrenia is not an easy condition to write about. It scares us. It scares those who live with it even more. But there is a kind of beauty, comedy and transcendence in the way that Jasper Gibson takes us inside the mind of Tom, which lifts the spirits and shows that disorders like his can give as well as take away
Stephen Fry