PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewA Certain Hunger has the voice of a hard-boiled detective novel, as if metaphor-happy Raymond Chandler handed the reins over to the sexed-up femme fatale and really let her fly ... Is the voice inviting? Sure, as inviting as a kidnapper holding a knife to your throat and threatening ... The descriptions of violence and gourmet cuisine are so visceral that I felt alternatingly hungry and sick to my stomach ... With Summers’s writing, I kept rereading sentences only as a double take, whispering to myself, \'Man, this lady is screwed up\' — which is, I’d argue, its own kind of pleasure ... Don’t get me wrong, A Certain Hunger is not just a novel about the demise of a foodie serial killer. It’s also a history of the internet, and how it has democratized writing ... There’s a feminist argument, too, beneath the lyrical exaltations about sex with Italian men and cooking with duck fat ... there was also something soothing and escapist about reading a fictional villain’s story, especially at a time when real life feels like its own horror show.
PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksMuch of the novel is like this — a series of events in which the protagonist outruns any real consequences. Perhaps it’s the irrepressible confidence of the young; they believe any bad decision can be undone...It’s Roberts’s gimlet-eyed attention to Mike’s selfishness that allows the character to become fully realized, the kind of guy who might careen drunkenly off the pages and into your bushes on his bike ... Personally, I could listen to this voice all day. It’s as if it belongs to a friend I grew up with, or someone I met at a bar, or found counting lampposts in my hometown — strangely familiar and wise beyond his years.