The Octopus Man

Listen to a sample

What to expect

‘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.

Critics Review

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

    THE SPECTATOR
  • Gibson… has achieved something remarkable… full of jokes, capers, black ironies and a wild juxtaposition between the mundane and the transcendental.

    Book of the Month in THE OLDIE
  • Deliriously good!

    ES MAGAZINE

More from the same

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.