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Parasite Person

Martin Lockwood is a man with a lot of grievances: his wife doesn’t understand him, and his mistress is too understanding; he has failed to fulfil his early promise, and his PhD thesis on psychological depression is stuck for lack of any original ideas. Until he encounters Ruth Ledbetter, a nineteen-year-old drop-out into suicide. Ruth is clever, unbalanced and a potentially dangerous person, who soon insinuates herself into Martins life, his home, and his work. Especially, she takes over the thesis, providing it with an original if questionable theme – that behind every depressed person is a parasite person, a buoyant, outgoing type who effectively sucks the victim dry.


‘This is a truly funny, sharp comedy that is packaged inside a psychological thriller.  I recommend it highly.’ – Spectator

‘In her elegant unassuming fashion, the author has many wise and witty things to say: a delightful and masterly achievement.’ – Financial Times

‘THE PARASITE PERSON is a minor masterpiece of jaw-dropping gullibility and self-deception…an utterly compulsive, totally readable, howlingly funny, painfully perceptive study of borderline madness.  I couldn’t have liked it more.’ – Hampstead & Highgate Express

‘A fascinating study of connubial wastelands and the social psychology game.’ – The Observer

‘A novel of complex plotting and brilliant characterisation, hinging on a detailed analysis of depression.’ – American Library Association

Born in Kent, Celia Fremlin (1914-2009) went on to read classics and then philosophy at Somerville College, Oxford. She married...