The second novel from the author of the Man Booker-longlisted Communion Town
In February of 1935, two young Irishmen walk in the grounds of a London mental hospital. Arthur Bourne, a junior psychiatrist, is about to jeopardise his future for his closest friend, an aspiring writer called Louis Molyneux.
Arthur has been overshadowed since childhood by his brilliant, troubled friend. But after years of playing the unassuming companion, he is learning that loyalty has its costs: that old friendship may thwart new love, and perhaps even blur distinctions between the sane and the mad . . .
JOTT is a story about friendship, madness and modernism from the author of the Man Booker-longlisted Communion Town.
A complex, nuanced literary novel of extraordinary perception - The Herald
A shrewd portrait of a particular kind of male friendship, simultaneously intense and incomplete - Mail on Sunday
Engaging - Irish Times
Praise for Sam Thompson - .
Here is a new writer working out what he can do, and realising that he can do anything - Daily Telegraph
His writing is highly wrought and beautiful, with that sense of leisure and perfectionism one often finds hanging around the dreaming spires - he's incredibly intelligent and assumes you are too - The Times
Ambitious, haunting and beautifully written - Daily Mail
Thompson has created a fresh and supple portrait of an era in flux, with psychoanalysis, feminism and fascism all on the rise, and through the character of Arthur written a perceptive study of the shifting ground between sanity and breakdown - the temptation to 'lean back and fall'. Arthur's inner journey from everyday wincing self-consciousness to the point of dissociation, where it's hard to recognise his own face in the mirror, is expertly done.
The book is also a sad and tender survey of silences within a marriage, as well as within a friendship. Silences within analysis, meanwhile, are more comically handled: Thompson is very funny on the self-deceptions and revelations of a discipline that, Arthur fears, "was only pretending to ex