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  • 9781910477700_fc
Edition details


eBook ISBN

Publication date
5th November 2020


Gallic Books

HB Demy

Extent (number of pages)


UK, Europe & BC ex Can

BIC category


The Swallowed Man [Hardback] SIGNED COPY

Author Edward Carey


A haunting reimagining of the damp, dismal years endured by Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, when trapped within the belly of the shark.

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I am writing this account, in another man’s book, by candlelight, inside the belly of a fish. I have been eaten. I have been eaten, yet I am living still.

From the acclaimed author of Little comes this beautiful and haunting imagining of the years Geppetto spends within the belly of a sea beast.

Drawing upon the Pinocchio story while creating something entirely his own, Carey tells an unforgettable tale of fatherly love and loss, of pride and regret, and of the sustaining power of art and imagination.

‘Art objects live in the belly of this marvellous novel, images swallowed by text, sustained by a sublime and loving imagination. Like all Edward Carey’s work The Swallowed Man is profound and delightful. It is a strange and tender parable of two maddening obsessions; parenting and art-making’  Max Porter
‘Gepetto, carver of naughty Pinocchio, keeps a haunting journal of his years inside the whale… Bizarre, moving, intensely odd’ @MargaretAtwood
‘A marvellous feat of storytelling that dives deep into the madness accompanying solitude and creativity’ Daily Mail
‘Haunting. Geppetto’s voice, full of wistful overemphases and bewildered revelation, is absorbing as he takes in the oddity of his situation. And the book, sentence by sentence, offers much in which to luxuriate’ Sunday Times
‘A tale with plenty to say about prickly father-son relationships and the responsibility that comes with creation’ Mail on Sunday
‘Inspired. . . . a riff on the entwined themes of fatherhood and creative spark’ New York Times Book Review
‘The Swallowed Man stands out among Carey’s other works. . . . an existential fairy tale for adults told by an old artist considering the tragedy of life’ The Washington Post
‘When I say that this is a beautiful book, I mean that literally­— the language as well as the art. . . . A spectacular experience’ Bill Goldstein, NBC

‘A deep and grimly whimsical exploration of what it means to be a son, a father, and an artist’ Kirkus Reviews
‘A re-imagining of Pinocchio, told from the viewpoint of the beast-entrapped Geppetto, it surprise and delights, and saddens and gladdens, from start to finish‘ The Big Issue
The Swallowed Man is a book unlike any other that I have read for many a long year. That is recommendation enough. Added to which it is written with fluent economy, poetic clarity and imaginative daring. What a high note on which to end this year of too many lows’ The Herald
‘Strange and lovely’  Rhik Samadder
‘A thing of physical beauty… The Swallowed Man can be read as an extended metaphor about the power of art. Or perhaps it’s just a strange and hypnotic story about a man stuck inside a fish’ The Times
‘Whimsical and macabre’  Strong Words Magazine
‘Richly descriptive and abundantly playful . . . [an] endearing meditation on creation and its power, conveying how much the act adds to our existence’ Austin Chronicle
‘A beautiful and dark meditation on fatherhood, mercy, redemption and the alchemy of isolation. Strange, moving and musical, it’s a delight’  A. L. Kennedy
‘Just magical – it’s that time of year, this is a perfect Christmas present for the person in the family who likes an original read’ NB Magazine
‘There’s plenty of mischief here and it’s a delight to read’  Voice Magazine
‘A magical meditation on fatherly love, loss and regret, and the transformative power of creative art’ Bookanista
Praise for Little
A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year
‘Don’t miss this eccentric charmer’ @MargaretAtwood
‘Absolutely brilliant’ Susan Hill
‘Edward Carey’s Little is one of the most original historical novels of the year (…) Inspired, vivid and macabre, Little is a remarkable achievement’ Sunday Times
‘A startlingly original novel’ The Times
‘Rich and engrossing, there is an extraordinary potency to Carey’s material … A visceral, vivid and moving novel’ The Guardian
‘In this gloriously gruesome imagining of the girlhood of Marie Tussaud, mistress of wax, fleas will bite, rats will run and heads will roll and roll and roll. Guts’n’gore galore: I bloody loved it’ The Spectator
‘Compelling… Carey’s story is cinematic in scope and fairy tale-like in its attention to coincidence – and to the fateful cycle of pride and fall’ TLS
‘Carey creates a quirky, indelible character in “Little”, sprinkles idiosyncratic drawings throughout and folds his narrative in cunning ways…’ BBC Culture 
‘Clever and intriguing’ Daily Mail
‘Marie’s story is fascinating in itself, but Carey’s talent makes her journey a thing of wonder’ New York Times
‘By turns witty, ghoulish, poignant and curiously life-affirming, Little is a historical novel unlike any other’ BBC History Magazine
‘It is Carey’s uniquely inventive style that makes this novel so completely, wickedly, addictive’ Big Issue
‘Edward Carey is one of the strangest writers we are privileged to have in this country’ The Observer
‘Full of rich historical detail and beautiful illustrations … a rare treat of a novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page’ Heat
‘Wonderful’ Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers
‘Edward Carey writes wonderfully weird books about wonderfully weird things. This one imagines the life of Madame Tussaud—of wax museum fame—as a little girl. It’s a hefty historical novel that promises to be a pageturner, too’ Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
‘Delightful, eccentric, heartfelt, surprising, philosophical’ Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries
‘What a bizarrely brilliant book. An absorbing, moving and darkly humorous reimagining of the life of Marie Groscholtz, the little servant girl who would become Madame Tussaud’ Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing
‘Compulsively readable: so canny and weird and surfeited with the reality of human capacity and ingenuity that I am stymied for comparison. Dickens and David Lynch? Defoe meets Atwood? Judge for yourself…’  Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked
Little is that rare thing – a unique novel with a unique and fully-realised voice, rich in deadpan wit and surgically precise observation. By turns tragic, bizarre and deeply moving, Little introduces readers to a heroine like no other and a book that will truly last. It is an absolute delight’ A.L Kennedy
Edward Carey

Meet the author

Edward Carey was born in Norfolk, England. He is a novelist, visual artist, playwright and director. He is the author of four novels, including Little, which was a Times and Sunday Times book of the year, and the YA series The Iremonger Trilogy. His collection of lockdown drawings, B: A Year in Plag…

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