After falling from a car park roof, cartoonist Tom Hannah is left with partial amnesia and the feeling that something important is missing from his life. His journey to recovery is hampered by a growing inability to distinguish between real and imaginary events. The characters from his cartoon strip assume a grimy reality, while the lives of his family and friends appear ever more unreal.
The Wrong Story is about the borderlands between memory, imagination and the real world. It is about the desire for self-determination and the obligations on a responsible creator.
But mostly it's about a man who falls off a roof and wants to know why – was it an accident, did he jump, or was he pushed?
James has written two novels: The Wrong Story and Happy Family. He has published a number of prize-winning short stories, a travelogue of his journey through Central America and a monthly column for The Gudgeon. His short story, Connor and His Amazing Ejector Boots, was nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prize. His short story, Kumi’s Cake, was shortlisted for the 2020 Bridport Short Story Prize.
He has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Society of Authors and the International Flann O’Brien Society. He is a presenter on Frome FM’s On-Air Book Group, a contributor to Carers UK‘s creative writing campaigns and was an ambassador for a Shooting Star - a charity for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions.
When cartoon artist Tom Hannah falls from the top of a multi-storey car park his life is saved by the market stall canopy below and boxes of bananas.
After waking up in a hospital it transpires that he is suffering from amnesia and that the day he fell has been completely wiped from his mind. He also starts seeing his cartoon characters in real life, as his imaginary and real worlds collide.
The Wrong Story is a unique novel. Tom Hannah is struggling to tell reality from fiction when his cartoon characters appear before him, even getting involved in his life.
He is also struggling to understand how he fell from the top of a multi-story car park, as he has a deep fear of heights and doesn’t have a car, so he has no reason for being up there.
I thought that the plot was exceptionally well woven together and that the whole concept of the two worlds intermingling worked well together and gave the book a fun edge. It has certainly been cleverly written.
It is also bang up-to-date, as James Ellis uses social media conversations to enhance the story and engage the reader in the plot. At times it felt that I was following real-life situations being talked about on Twitter.
This is an entertaining book that kept me intrigued from beginning to end. I was as eager to find out how Tom fell, as much as he was. If your looking for something different to read, then this book would be perfect.
Review originally on my link text After falling off a roof Tom, a cartoonist, starts to see his characters around him and as a result, we learn so much more than expected about the lines blurring reality and fiction. He is exceptionally keen to find out just what happened the day that he fell and we are brought along on his journey along with trying, as a reader, to fill in the blanks.
Each character had a marvellous way of causing me to have emotions towards them. I am not ashamed to say that I detest Lawerence and I want to get to know the always-angry café owner to find out just why she is seen in this manner.
I found it an exceptionally engaging read, even went as far as to leave it on the car dash so people could see it as they walked past. The cover is very eye-catching and I am sure that some people may just look into it as a result of having seen it.
The Wrong Story is well written, positively hilarious and exceptionally surreal. A must-read for anyone who loves a quirky tale.
I received this book for review, all opinions are my own.
Really enjoyed reading this book. From page 1 it had me completely gripped. Thoroughly recommend. Completely novel storyline. The descriptions throughout the book were so detailed that it made it feel like you were there and made you totally gripped into finding out what happened to Tom. And to top things off the author Is a lovely person!
This is James’ debut novel but really doesn’t read like one.
Th story follows a cartoonist, Tom, as he tries to work out what happened to him after an accident, along with working out what is real and imaginary. It is a very unique story as it mixes reality with his cartoon characters in a brilliant way.
It is a very funny story, with bits of sadness in it to stop it from being to cheerful, and is a very easy book to read.
Even after I had finished the story I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how people’s reality can be affected by a bump. The story was really well written and kept me hooked throughout
This is an intriguing book about what happens to a sensitive, creative person when they hit the emotional buffers. The fractured sense of reality and intoxicated vertigo leave the lead character and the reader spinning, with only the three frame comic strip structure providing something firm to hold on to. Wonderfully written and a great page turner. I'm writing this at 4am because that's when I finished it!
The Wrong Story by James Ellis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late January.
Renown animator Tom takes a fall from a parking garage and lands in the hospital with hallucinatory symptoms (mainly involving his own cartoon characters), episodic amnesia, and becomes distant from his family and career.