29 October 2020
When the locks can’t hold James Norris they chain him, and when the chains won’t stay James Norris they fix him to a stake. But they still can’t take the thoughts out of his head. He is a man shackled to his own tragedies: the commission he never took; the family and friends he lost; the lover who betrayed him.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Mutiny on the Bounty – an exploration of love, sanity, suffering, and compassion. Based on the true story of James Norris, an American marine who was chained to a stake for over ten years in Bethlem, Hospital for the Insane (1800-15).
Will James Norris find what he is hunting for? Can he ever sail free?
Startlingly original and poetic—Bullock combines horror and brutality with unexpected moments of tenderness.
The voice she gives to Norris as memories and delusions meld in his disintegrating mind is a haunting one.
Fascinating and compelling–the writing sparked vivid details in my minds eye.
It’s 1800. James Norris is imprisoned in Bedlam, physically restrained in the most inhumane way, mentally unstable, taunted by inescapable memories.
Madness, freedom, love, rebellion and compassion in C18th Bedlam, post Mutiny on the Bounty. Emily Bullock has dazzling talent.
A turbulent and thrilling voyage on the high seas of madness.
Emily Bullock is a wonderful writer, and in this superbly crafted novel she doesn’t waste a single word as she hurls us headlong through a swirling maze of madness that leads us to the very heart of James Norris.
A staggering work of fiction: utterly unique, unfathomably powerful, not a word wasted or a sentence spare.