Belfast writer Sam Thompson’s debut novel Communion Town was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012. His latest book, Jott, is an ambitious, haunting and a beautifully written novel and confirms Thompson’s place amongst our very finest contemporary writers.
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.
Jott is a story about friendship, madness and modernism. It was inspired by a story from Sam Thompson’s childhood. His grandfather Geoffrey was a lifelong friend of Samuel Beckett: they met at boarding school, studied together at Trinity College, Dublin and moved to London as young men in the 1930s. As a junior psychiatrist Sam’s grandfather worked at the Bethlem psychiatric hospital in south London, and helped Beckett research his first novel Murphy by taking him onto the wards.
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