by Lyn G. Farrell Read profile


The winner of the 2015 Luke Bitmead Bursary

Bookmuse Recommended Read

My new shrink asks me, ‘What things do you remember about being very young?’ It’s like looking into a murky river, I say. Memories flash near the surface like fish coming up for flies. The past peeps out, startles me, and then is gone…

Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.

As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?


'Harrowing, unsettling, but brilliant from first page to last. My Book of the Year.' - Clio Gray, Man Booker International and Baileys Prize-nominated author of The Anatomist's Dream

'The Wacky Man makes for a visceral piece of realism.' - Rob Ward, Brown University

'An ambitious, dark, searing debut novel... didn't let me go from page to raw, agonising, heart-wrenching page.' - Mark O'Brien, MADE in Leeds