‘Put Moby Dick, Treasure Island and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner into a pot, add a pinch of Dickens, and you will get the flavour of Carol Birch’s hugely entertaining novel.’ Mail on Sunday
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2011
Young Jaffy Brown never expects to escape the slums of Victorian London. Then, aged eight, a chance encounter with Mr Jamrach changes Jaffy’s stars. And before he knows it, he finds himself at the docks waving goodbye to his beloved Ishbel and boarding a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. With his friend Tim at his side, Jaffy’s journey will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
“An imaginative tour-de-force encompassing the sights and smells of 19th-century London and the wild sea… Gripping, superbly written and a delight.”
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“Riveting. Birch is masterful at evoking period and place … A teeming exhibition of the beautiful and the bizarre.”
“A captivating yarn of high seas and even higher drama.”
“Magical … A sustained feat of imagination and diligent research.”
“One of the best stories I’ve ever read … A completely original book.”
A. S. Byatt
Carol Birch is the author of ten previous novels, including Scapegallows (2008) and Turn Again Home (2003) which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She has also won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the David Higham Award for Best First Novel. Jamrach’s Menagerie was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011 and the London Book Award.