How would you grow up if you were castrated by a dog as a child - warped 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.
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
The skill of Lloyd's writing makes it a real page-turner, a truly promising debut. - Charlotte Mosley, Daily Mail
Startlingly lovely prose ... It's faultless ... Lloyd carries it off by that simplest of expedients - being brilliant. - Independent on Sunday
Lloyd is a lapdancer of a writer ... damn nasty, and all the better for that - The Face
Utterly compelling. This is a spellbinding book which will work its (black) magic on you and keep you up long past your bedtime. - Marissa Burgess, Big Issue in the North (***** )
Kym Lloyd is clearly a very imaginative writer, and ERSKINE'S BOX is one of the most original novels you're likely to come across this year. - Shirley Kelly, Irish Examiner
Consuming and chilling - Waterstone's Books Quarterly
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]
One of the most original novels you're likely to come across this year. - Irish Examiner
Lloyd teases mercilessly, coyly leading one to a conclusion as dreaded as it is desired. - The Times
Teases and delights in equal measure ... the ambiguity of everything Erskine relates keeps the reader hooked to his revelations up to the last page - Waterstone's Books Quarterly
Lloyd has created a compellingly enigmatic monster, one fit to sit alongside other great literary ghouls like John Fowles' Frederick in THE COLLECTOR and William Trevor's Mr Hilditch in FELICIA'S JOURNEY ... utterly compelling. This is a spellbinding book which will work its (black) magic on you and keep you up long past your bedtime. - Big Issue in the North (*****)
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.