A novel in 23 chromosomes

Johnny Rich’s debut novel was described as the “book of the year” in 2015 by BookSmoke

‘A captivating, intelligent and deeply affecting exploration of science, literature and ideas.’

Tom McCarthy, Man Booker nominee and author of C, Satin Island and Remainder

The Human Script is the debut novel of Johnny Rich, an alumnus of UEA’s world-renowned MA course in creative writing. The book has been described as ‘brilliant’ and ‘a literary gem’.

It is a melancholy love story exploring ideas of free will and determinism, nature and nurture, cause and effect, sexuality, art, literature and postmodernism, faith and science, fame, and even the nature of fiction. 

‘Readers may find that on reading the last page they will want to start all over again. Intelligent, thought-provoking and profoundly moving, The Human Script is a book that will start conversations and will linger in your mind for a long time.’ 

Byte the Book


Buy The Human Script by Johnny Rich:
ISBN 978-1533354846
Paperback £10.99 / $15.99
eBook on Kindle £2.99 / $3.66
Amazon UK / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Set in London in the year 2000, against the backdrop of the human genome project, The Human Script is the story of Chris Putnam, a junior geneticist, whose life veers unexpectedly following the death of his estranged and deeply religious father. Chris finds himself forced to examine how much he really is master of his own fate. What he discovers surprises and intrigues both him and the reader and leads to inevitable and poignant tragedy.  On another level, it is an exploration of nature and nurture, of identity, of cause and effect, of chaos, of determinism and, ultimately, of the novel itself.

A cryptic parable, The Human Script draws together popular science and culture, philosophy, religion and literary theory.

You can read the first chapter here.

As well as Tom McCarthy’s praise, extracts have been widely lauded by such writers as Ian McEwan, Andrew Motion, W G Sebald and Lorna Sage and compared to David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas), Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and Bernard Schlink (The Reader).

An Amazon Kindle top 100 literary fiction title.

**** Goodreads rating

The Human Script