By Kym Lloyd
How would you grow up if you were castrated by a dog as a child? Let Erskine Flesching tell you all.
Erskine Flesching, our unreliable narrator, admits that he's 40; that he returned three years ago to his childhood home by the sea to live with his mother, who he hasn't seen since he was 10; and that he has been a successful opera singer. What he won't spell out is which part of him a dog bit off when he was a child; that what he obsessively carves out of wood are penises; or why so many people from his past - father, sister, lover and patroness - seem to be dead. And he appears to be addressing a young woman who has stolen both his heart and secrets, and is locked up in his private sanctuary. Is she dead too? Can he be trusted? Is this just wish fulfilment or a madman's confession? Like a demented spider, Erskine Flesching spins his victims and his readers into his web. By the end you don't know who's been had.
Kym Lloyd was born and grew up in Swansea. As a schoolchild she won a WHSmith Young Writers Prize and, after gaining a degree in French and working for a publisher in Oxford, chose to concentrate on her writing. While supporting herself in a variety of jobs from cleaning to van driving, she succeeded in getting short stories and poems published in several magazines. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and twin daughters.
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- Publication date:
23 May 2013
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The skill of Lloyd's writing makes it a real page-turner, a truly promising debut. — Charlotte Mosley, Daily Mail
Lloyd is a lapdancer of a writer . . . damn nasty, and all the better for that — The Face
Deliciously macabre . . . The gradual unravelling of [Erskine's] myth-making as he returns to his childhood home after 30 years lends suspense to this ribald verbal feast — Arena
Lloyd teases mercilessly, coyly leading one to a conclusion as dreaded as it is desired. — The Times
Startlingly lovely prose . . . It's faultless . . . Lloyd carries it off by that simplest of expedients - being brilliant. — Independent on Sunday
One of the most twisted and arresting debuts since Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory, with its intensely scripted story narrated by a dubious madman. Lloyd has the capacity to disturb without conscience, taking the reader into a fearsome mind and then letting all hell erupt. It is truly a remarkably disturbing experience. — HQ Magazine [Australia]