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Gareth Thompson -
The Great Harlequin Grim

Glenn Jackson and his father move from Burnley to a small Cumbrian village. Glenn finds it hard to fit in at school and adapt to village life, especially when word gets around of Dad’s buffoonery in his own attempts to join the close-knit community. Then Glenn meets the alluring Laura, and falls into the crazy schemes of his new friend Baz, involving forays into the wild landscape and contacting aliens. He also discovers Harlequin, a boy-giant living rough in an old slate quarry. But as Glenn learns what this strange outsider is running from, events take a heart-breaking turn.

‘An exciting, raw read which is firmly rooting for the outsider’ TES

‘A remarkable debut novel’ The Irish Times

‘I was hooked… I couldn’t put it down’ Teen Titles

‘A memorable read by a splendid writer’ The Bookseller

'A sobering, brittle and gut-wrenching tale… An incredible debut’
The Truth About Books

'Thompson's first book is a blinder, mixing tough life hassles, first love and terrible tragedy into a funny and moving tale that will stay with you for ages'
Flipside Magazine


As featured in Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - 100 Great Books To Read In a Lifetime

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image1 The quarry at Hodge Close, setting for much of The Great Harlequin Grim.
image2 The waterfalls where Glenn sees Harlequin bathing, and where the drama with Laura takes place.
image3 Panorama of the quarry.
image4 A view from the quarry’s steepest edge.
image5 The rough shack where Harlequin hides out.
image6       image7 The original hardback cover. The firework effect for the cover artwork was done with real sparklers! That’s the designer’s sister being photographed. Each letter was done separately.