The Scapegoat

Jocelyn Brooke

05 October 2017
124 pages


When Duncan Cameron’s mother dies, he is sent to live with his Uncle Gerald on a remote farm in Kent. What follows is a hypnotic tale of psychological suspense as this boy on the cusp of manhood enters his only living relative’s ultra-masculine world of; a dark, erotically charged landscape in an England teetering on the brink of the Second World War.

Originally published in 1948, The Scapegoat was Jocelyn Brooke’s first novel and, as with many of his other works, occupies a fascinating space between fiction and autobiography. Described by novelist Peter Cameron as ‘almost unbelievably subversive and kinky’, this unjustly neglected classic of gay fiction offers a quiet depiction of a childhood adrift in silence and despair, and a beautifully wrought exploration of masculinity.

“He is subtle as the devil” - John Betjeman

“Jocelyn Brooke is a great writer. . . . If you care enough for literature, seek out The Scapegoat” - Elizabeth Bowen

“It could not have been written more delicately or sensitively” - Sean O'Faolian

“Exceptionally well-written”- Desmond MacCarthy

He is subtle as the devil
Exceptionally well-written
It could not have been written more delicately or sensitively