Winner of the 2007 Somerset Maugham Award and shortlisted for four other prizes, including the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
Anti, a quiet English boy living in Quito, Ecuador, strikes up a friendship with flamboyant local classmate Fabián, who is everything Anti isn’t: handsome, athletic and popular. What’s more, he lives with his rakish Uncle Suarez, while Anti is stuck in the dull ex-pat world inhabited by his parents.

Suarez, a storyteller par excellence, infects the boys with his passion for outlandish tales, and before long their relationship is one conducted entirely through the telling of tales. One subject, however, is taboo: Fabián’s parents. But when details surrounding their disappearance begin to emerge, Anti decides to console his friend with a story suggesting that Fabián’s mother may be living at a bizarre hospital on the coast for patients with memory loss. With confused emotions and reality losing its grip, the boys embark on a quixotic voyage across Ecuador in search of an ‘Amnesia Clinic’ that may, or may not exist.
'A wonderful debut - witty, polished, fluent and effortlessly entertaining.' Hilary Mantel
'Bewitching... This is a rigorously plotted novel masquerading as a picaresque romp, and highly recommended. Scudamore has talent to burn.' Sunday Telegraph
'A compulsively readable novel about the seductiveness of storytelling... Both his characters and the electrifying manner in which Scudamore writes about Ecuador demonstrate the appeal as well as the danger of any fabulist's capacity for wonder.' Literary Review
'This delightful book about the friendship between two boys in Ecuador is full of tall tales and fantasy. The line between reality and bizarre fiction is always blurred, always mesmerising.' Judges of 2006 Costa First Novel Award (Sophie Kinsella, Andrew McClellan and Alyson Rudd)
'An exuberant first novel... Scudamore has fun blurring the edges of truth and fiction, creating fantastic and colourful stories within stories.' The Independent On Sunday
'A polished debut... turns the tables on both characters and reader as imagination segues into dangerous reality.' The Guardian
'A nostalgic, compelling adventure laced with black humour.' Time Out
'A really beautifully written, quixotic adventure.' Tatler