Lincoln Locke’s fifteen-year-old life is turned upside down when he’s thrust into bachelor-pad living with his dad, after his parents’ marriage breaks up, and into an exclusive new school. Crestfield Academy offers him a new set of peers – the cr me de la cr me of gifted individuals, who also happen to be financially loaded – and a place on the swim relay team with a bunch of thugs in Speedos. Homunculus, the little voice inside Lincoln’s head, doesn’t make life any easier; nor does Lincoln’s growing awareness of a genetic anomaly that threatens to humiliate him at every turn. On a search for answers to the big LIFE questions, he turns to the hallowed school library, where he spies Edwin Stroud’s nineteenth-century memoir, My One Redeeming Affliction. The book weaves itself into Lincoln’s life in ways more fascinating and alarming than he could have imagined. When he meets Bert McGill, the local junkyard hermit, Lincoln finds among the detritus of Bert’s life tantalising glimpses of the enigmatic Stroud, star of Melinkoff’s Astonishing Assembly of Freaks. He begins to piece together a time past, of dubious relationships and, it turns out, of redeeming afflictions. Audacious, funny and wonderfully inventive, The Origin of Me is a story of friendships, of young love, of imagination, and of celebrating differences, past and present.
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