Tristan Hart’s sadistic tendencies and incipient madness stand in stark contrast to Enlightenment philosophy and the scientific method he supports as a medical student, lending an atmosphere of creeping dread to this coming-of-age story set in Henry Fielding’s eighteenth-century London. American readers unfamiliar with the British bogeyman known as Raw Head and Bloody Bones may not understand the titular reference, though Tristan’s predilection for pain, combined with his forensic experimentation, his unusual obsession with a teenage girl, and the influence of what might very well be his own hallucinatory delusions will make it apparent that this is a monster’s memoir. Wolf’s first novel plays on readers’ fears of death, demons, pain, and insanity while challenging us to question our assumptions about love and sex, joy and grief, and reality itself. A philosophical and grim portrait of a brilliant madman passing as normal, this unusual story compares well with the twisted fairy world in John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things (2011) and Victor Lavalle’s riveting portrait of madness in The Devil in Silver (2012). For stout-hearted readers. --Jen Baker
"Evokes historical fiction such as Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Andrew Miller’s Ingenious Pain, and Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor. The Tale of Raw head and Bloody Bones, Jack Wolf’s debut novel, can stand alongside these modern classics. This is an extraordinarily controlled and artful book."—Financial Times
"Wolf's first novel plays on readers' fears of death, demons, pain, and insanity while challenging us to question our assumptions about love and sex, joy and grief, and reality itself."—Booklist
"[A] lively, visceral tale… at times ravaging, revealing, and primeval… ’tis a tale that will make you acutely aware of how madness descends—and inexorably pull you into its clutches."—New York Journal of Books
"Written in first-person person period language (compleat with capitalized Nouns and idiosyncratic Spelnygs), it's hard to believe this is Wolf's debut novel. The 18th-century pastiche is skilfully executed and wholly absorbing; imagination abounds and the imagery is high-def vivid… Completely engrossing… Highly recommended."
—Historical Novel Society
"Definitely one of the more unique, if not the most unique, fantasy novels of 2013, a welcome change from the more flashy, but less substantial, blockbusters of the genre."—Darkeva's Dark Delights
"Tristan's sadistic flights of fancy make for consciously creepy reading but this knowingly warped tale about a journey into a disturbed psyche offers more than gratuitous horror. Instead, Wolf's sure hand with Hart's arcane voice and intelligent control of material including medical history and strange folklore results in a thrilling tale of transgression"
"This gloriously over-egged pudding of a first novel is set in 1750, and crammed with chunks of history, philosophy and folklore ... Wolf is a superb storyteller who sucks the reader into his fascinating imagination."
—The Times (UK)
"Thrilling . . . extraordinary . . . Jack Wolf delivers his tale with passion, precision and poetry. Those of strong stomach and vivid imagination will find glittering delights in here."
—The Guardian (UK)
“Tristan Hart...is among the most striking and memorable anti-heroes to have appeared in recent British fiction. ”
—Times Literary Supplement
“This rollicking mash-up of the scientific and the supernatural, the rational and loony, is by turns funny, moving, delicate and quite horrific. A terrific debut.”
—The Daily Mail
"Tristan bears a resemblance to Patrick Suskind's Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, but he is far more complicated and captivating as the protagonist. There's an earnestness that lies beneath his brutish nature, which surfaces unexpectedly and lures the reader into the murky depths of his mental anguish. Wolf's fearless debut confronts opposing forces such as good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, and sanity and madness head-on. The narrative is thick with expectation and keeps the reader on tenterhooks throughout. This clever roller-coaster ride will challenge your reasoning, shake your senses and keep you awake at night."
A brilliantly conceived and written first novel. It was one of those that kept me up all night ; 'One more chapter, one more chapter..."Published 3 months ago by nitesky
I'm so glad I stumbled across this book at my local library. It just happened to be sticking out on a shelf. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Adrianne
Only a few pages in and I will donate this book. The capitalization of random words mixed with egregious misspelling is making me want to rip my hair out. It's so distracting. Read morePublished 12 months ago by AMT
Fun finally reading the book that inspired all of my Great Grandfather's scary campfire childhood tales.
Came in excellent condition, shipped fast.
While I agree that Tristan is obsessed with the nature of pain, I don't think he's as concerned with medically preventing it as he is concerned with treating it and understanding... Read morePublished 22 months ago by KSluss
the book is in really good condition haven't finished it yet but i hope to finish it soon good bookPublished 24 months ago by Belem Rangel
Synopsis: The year is 1751, the brilliant and wealthy Tristan Hart is practicing surgery. The thing is that being a surgeon is a PERFECT career path for this young psychopath. Read morePublished on June 21, 2013 by Amazon Customer
While hustling through the Omaha airport, I picked up this book on impulse. I am constantly on the lookout for new historical fiction and, based on the glowing reviews cited on the... Read morePublished on May 17, 2013 by Seingalt
The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones is definitely something different. It's a dark and twisted tale that leaves the reader both uncomfortable and fascinated. Read morePublished on May 8, 2013 by W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada