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The Swallowed Man Reviews

The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey, Edward  Carey

Fish House

Edward Carey, Edward Carey

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Gallic Books
Publisher: Gallic Books
Publication date: 1 Sep 2020
ISBN: 9781910477700

'Profound and delightful. It is a strange and tender parable of two maddening obsessions; parenting and art-making' - Max Porter

4 stars out of 5
Antonia Senior
6 Nov 2020

"a strange and hypnotic story "

As he recounts the tale, and tells us of his youthful love affairs, he counts the candles. “I am afraid of the dark. The dark is coming for me.” It is a measure of Carey’s skill that we feel Geppetto’s terror, despite the fantastical nature of the tale. Geppetto tries to fill the looming void with art and visions of love. 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.


4 stars out of 5
Claire Allfree
1 Nov 2020

"The darkly magical Italian folktale Pinocchio gets an extra layer of strangeness in this reimagining"

Carey uses a quaint, folky, first-person idiom that takes some getting used to, but this is a marvellous feat of storytelling that dives deep into the madness accompanying solitude and creativity.

4 stars out of 5
25 Oct 2020

"a modern Pinocchio tale"

The register in which these ruminations are delivered will not be everyone’s cup of rum. But it can be 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.