In 2016, obscure British-Canadian novelist Ryan Frawley quit a steady job and moved with his wife A and their polydactyl cat to Italy.

A six-month trip became a two-year adventure, as they moved from Italy to southern France and back again to Italy. Spurred on by Britain’s exit from the EU, they set out to explore the continent in a time of flux, of mass tourism and mass terrorism, of shifting alliances and shaky economies, of uncertainty and incivility.

But what they found instead was a different way of living. The essays in this collection were written on trains and planes, in battered buses and rented rooms. Together, they represent the story of a man walking away from the life he was supposed to want in search of something better. And finding it in places he never thought to look.

….the success of Frawley’s writing is that even as the layered puzzle of Scar unfolds in the reading process, one never comes to feel like the puzzle must be solved in order to enjoy the storytelling…an ambitious piece of work that never sacrifices atmospheric storytelling, even as it pursues its ergodic agenda. – rumandreviews.com

 

…destabilising, vibrant, and many-layered. Strains of Irish mythology, psychoanalysis and a sympathetic and immensely close portrait of schizophrenia all somehow gel together with very little friction, to create a compelling and complex puzzle of a book. – Neon Magazine

 

"…A literary-minded schizophrenic with a story to tell dominates Frawley’s complex, multilayered debut novel…Less a novel than a steady stream of hallucinatory imageries, this tale within a tale incorporates aspects from memoir, fiction and speculative fiction genres….Creatively inspired.” – Kirkus Reviews

Dermot Fallon has a disease. Currently hospitalized in Vancouver, he recreates with lunatic clarity the circumstances surrounding his recent trip to Ireland to bury his father, and his own schizophrenic breakdown. Pursued by the past - that of his family and a nation, as well as his own - he in turn pursues Fiona, his cousin's fiancee, even as reality fragments into nightmare in the tangled tripwires of his brain. Told from Dermot's own perspective with extensive notes by his psychiatrist, Scar is a powerful meditation on death, love, loss, identity, family and the terrifying ecstasy of madness.

 

Ryan Frawley’s first novel, Scar, ambitiously sets out to tell not one story, but three or four..a lyric, delicate story written with soulful attention to the lore of the land…… beautifully written, with an obvious knowledge of subject matter and a sensitivity to place, tone and pacing…Conium Review

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© 2014 Ryan Frawley

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