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1st edition
Author William Horwood
Cover artist David Kearney
Country United Kingdom
Language English language
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 576
ISBN 0-670-80132-1

Skallagrigg is a 1987 novel written by William Horwood and influenced by Horwood's relationship with his own daughter Rachel, who has cerebral palsy.[1]

Plot introduction[edit]

The story concerns Arthur, a young boy with cerebral palsy, abandoned in a grim hospital in the north of England and subject to extreme cruelty and neglect; Esther, a keenly intelligent teenager who also has CP but whose talents are recognised in these enlightened days; and Daniel, an American computer-gaming genius. They are linked by the Skallagrigg; whatever or whoever it is will transform their lives. Esther sets out on a quest to find the truth of the Skallagrigg, founded in the life and experiences of Arthur. She encapsulates what she finds in a tortuously complex computer game, knowing that the truth is never likely to be uncovered. A man named Martin has heard the word Skallagrigg from his senile grandmother and when he hears of Skallagrigg the game, he is determined to solve it and discover what it means...

Screen adaptation[edit]

Skallagrigg was shown on BBC2's Screen Two in 1994 with screenplay by Nigel Williams and won a BAFTA for Best Single Drama in 1995. It starred John McArdle, Richard Briers, Nick Brimble, Kerry Noble and Ian Dury.[2]


External links[edit]