Foreign Editions

A striking, moving debut

Literary Review
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His characters are vivid and impossible to forget, and he has an underlying optimism about the various ways in which muddled lives shake down and settle into something better.

The Times
The Coward Chosen for BBC 2's 'Between the Covers' Programme

The Coward is a truly uplifting emotional journey; a tender, wise, brutally funny novel that assiduously avoids the saccharine.

The Guardian

efficient, bracing and bleakly comic

New Statesman
'The Coward' chosen for Radio 2 Book Club

Funny, angry, and beautiful

Irish Examiner

Riotously funny testament to our ability to forgive

The Big Issue

[Jarred McGinnis] writes with pitch-black humour about the disabled experience, offering an utterly unsentimentalised perspective.

The Observer
Interview with the Scottish Herald

This beautiful book is a testament to the way people can, in spite of everything, reforge shattered emotional bonds and repair seemingly doomed relationships. You won’t find a more uplifting read in these dark times.

Irvine Welsh

The Coward is laceratingly funny, beautiful and true, true, true – right into its very human and very twisted heart. Read this book.

A. L. Kennedy

The Coward is both absolutely devastating and ridiculously funny, sometimes within the span of a single paragraph. A big-hearted, quick-witted sucker punch of a first novel; readers who like their brutal honesty with a side of hope are really going to love The Coward.

Jan Carson

The Coward is a raw and unflinching look at a broken Father Son relationship. At times viscerally honest but always gripping as the difficult journey to redemption and hope takes place against a backdrop of addiction, recrimination and an emotionally troubled history. Jarred McGinnis finds truth and humour in the brutal honesty that makes for a compelling read.

Mark Strong

Brutal, tender, moving and funny. Life as a novel

C.D. Rose

This is not the tale of redemption and hope one would expect. In this bold work of fiction, Jarred McGinnis is a man whose life has been hedonistic, downright self-destructive, filled with reckless decisions and driven by anger at the world. Until a car accident one night. When he wakes up, it’s to discover he will never walk again.

Looking like a ‘giant roller-skate’ with neither money nor job, he’s forced to move in with the father he hasn’t spoken to in ten years. It soon becomes obvious that the wheelchair is the least of his problems as he looks back over his past – the tragedy that blasted his family apart, why he ran away, the damage he’s caused himself and others – and starts to wonder whether, maybe, things don’t always have to stay broken after all. The Coward is about hurt and forgiveness. And it’s about how we write and rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our lives – and try to find a happy ending.

The Coward is a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to come to terms with a broken body, rebuild a broken relationship and find love when it seems like there is no hope.

Featured Debut Author at Scottish Books International Monocle Interview with Georgina Godwin Longlisted for the 2021 Barbellion Prize