Cult reading

Left by Steven Ingram

Cover of Left by Steven Ingrama

Sam is the kind of young person you might see in Edinburgh. Maybe a student, maybe a young worker. Cool haircut brushed long over the left side. But get to know her, and you might find out why she wears her hair like that. Her left ear has been removed. Samantha grew up in The Community.

I suppose in normal society they would call The Community a religious cult. But really, there is nothing religious about it.

The Community is based around pseudo-scientific ideas of maximising human potential, emphasising logic, rationality and order. The left-side of the human brain is said to be the area that has dominion over these analytical and objective traits. In the Community children lose their left ear to promote these attributes.

Sam fled the community but an unexpected letter reveals that they have found her. Sam flees. She is being hunted. She runs to London, losing friends, making friends and learning more about The Community and herself as she goes. The hunting element of Left is tense and dramatic as Samantha flees to London like a reverse 39 Steps. And then Sam stops running.

Left also examines questions of rationality and creativity. The hunter who tracks down Samantha is at first disturbed by the emotional and creative art that he finds. But he is satisfied that they have been designed and planned with care and rationality. Can one be entirely rational or entirely creative? Or are humans always a combination of the two? Free-will and individuality and their relationship with the community and the ‘common good’ are also key themes thoughtfully examined by Left.

Steven Ingram‘s art style brings the characters to life, no mean feat when many of them live in a community where everyone dressed the same and shaves their heads.

You can get Left and find all of Steven’s social media links at

The kickstarter for Steven’s latest work MurMur is live now.

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