Light Switches are my Kryptonite

By Crystal Jeans

“In Sylvester, Crystal Jeans has created a character as evocative and alluring as her own name. Her book is an amazing piece of literary ventriloquism; convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling.” Niall Griffiths

Award-winning & listed, Fiction, Novels



I started on light switches … I had to run my fingertip along every bit of the light switch – the edges, the corners, the button – in a particular order and pattern … If I didn’t get it just right, maybe bad things would happen.

Sylvester spends a lot of time in his room, under the duvet, muttering his mantra – Timolol, Diclofenac, Alfacalcidol – and gluing glitter to the light switches. If he doesn’t the evil witch might curse him, or his perverted thoughts be exposed for the world to see. Or maybe he’s just being irrational…?

Forced back home to live with his dealer dad, Carl, Sylvester’s imagination takes flight, along with his sanity. The next week is a roller coaster ride through OCD, paranoia, and psychedelia as Sylvester, Carl and Sylvester’s fragile friend Patty negotiate a life which seems determined to push them to the limits.

Along the way there are laughs, horror and moments of tender compassion. And the story of what happened to Sylvester’s mum, which has made him the young man he is: not quite broken, not quite fixed.



"Jeans' fiercly honest storytelling remains compelling and original...often uncomfortable, often humorous, but always deeply affecting - and ultimately relatable..."
Dr. Ashley Owen, New Welsh Review

"It made me cry with laughter and cringe/wince in equal measure; it's stunningly written in deft and ebullient prose, and extremely tender"
Rachel at The Turnaround Blog

"With a literary voice as distinctive as her name, this Cardiff writer blew away the judging panel in the 2018 Welsh Book of the Year Awards. I know because I was on it, and I'd never read anything quite like 'Light Switches Are My Kryptonite', the novel we gave the fiction prize to."
Carolyn Hitt, Wales Online

ISBN: 9781909983564
Language: English
Categories: Award-winning & listed, Fiction, Novels
First Published by Honno: 20th April 2017

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