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Just By Looking at Him

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780751585469

Price: £9.99

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‘A horny romp that makes you think, laugh, and feel. O’Connell is one of my favourite writers’ MONICA HEISEY, author of Really Good, Actually

A very funny novel about falling for a fantasy and finding love for one’s own self’ MELISSA BRODER, author of The Pisces

‘Funny, horny, heartbreaking’ CAROLINE O’DONOGHUE, author of Promising Young Women


Eliott is a TV writer with a perfect-penised boyfriend. He’s living the dream.

But behind the glossy veneer he’s been papering over cracks, and they’re starting to show. He’s creatively stifled, he’s drinking a little too often and his cerebral palsy makes him feel like gay Shrek.

When River walks in, Elliott’s life is turned upside down in the best way. River is funny, charming and makes him feel seen. But maybe that’s part of the deal when you hire a sex worker.

Eliott is lost and he needs someone, anyone, to point him in the right direction. After all, it’s a long limp towards redemption.

A hilarious, sexy, ground-breaking debut novel about the intersection of queerness and disability, and discovering who you really are.


What readers are saying about Just By Looking at Him

‘Darkly funny and poignant’

‘Such a fresh take . . . I was gripped from the first page’

‘Brutally honest, funny and poignant look at modern life through the lens of disability’

‘This book is honest, hilarious, and raw . . . I loved literally every character’

‘The author has such a strong voice and has created in Eliot a character that I will not soon forget . . . I found myself laughing out loud’

‘Reads like your favorite whip- smart sitcom everyone looks forward to at the end of the day’

‘One of the funniest books I have ever read’


I've loved Ryan O'Connell's voice in every iteration, but his turn to fiction is my favorite Ryan yet: sharp, bawdy, yet still deeply touching. It's shockingly elegant, and elegantly shocking
Lena Dunham, author of NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL
A novel about self-discovery following a character at the intersection of queerness and disability, with plenty of sex involved
Gay Times
A very funny novel about falling for a fantasy and finding love for one's own self . . . Ryan O'Connell explores the lessons that the vulnerable human body has to teach us, and he does so with humor, heart and heat
Melissa Broder, author of THE PISCES
The writing is dazzling, so funny and free, it's like making friends with someone new and exciting at a party and instantly becoming their best friend. Ceaselessly entertaining, no-filter comedy, scathing, sparkling and uplifting
Justin Myers, author of THE LAST ROMEO
Filthy, funny and outrageous. This novel is full of painfully recognisable characters who are impossible not to fall for. I loved it
Laura Kay, author of THE SPLIT
With his singular voice and unforgettable wit, O'Connell movingly explores how our messiest moments can lead to radical self-acceptance. Elliott's journey may be his own, but what he discovers about the absurdity of the human condition is universal
Steven Rowley, author of LILY AND THE OCTOPUS
Funny, horny, heatbreaking. If you liked Detransition Baby you might like this: all anarchic queerness and great jokes
Caroline O'Donoghue, author of PROMISING YOUNG WOMEN
Just By Looking At Him is a revelation - Ryan manages to perfectly encapsulate the nuances of disability, while avoiding the air of self-pity that so often clouds disabled narratives crafted by able bodied people. The book is consistently hilarious and relatable. I'm obsessed!
Ione Gamble, author of POOR LITTLE SICK GIRLS
A perfect summer beach read: very funny but also with important things to say about the intersections of disability and queer identity
Andrew McMillan, author of PHYSICAL
I'm breathless in admiration - it's super sharp, staggeringly funny, hot as hell and stealthily moving. It's going to be a mega-hit!
Just By Looking At Him is a horny romp that makes you think, laugh, and feel. Ryan O'Connell is one of my favourite writers because he always finds the perfect balance between cutting and contemplative
Monica Heisey, author of REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY