RaveThe Irish Independent (IRE)... exquisite ... It is art that fires the imagination of almost every character in this novel and Winman writes about it with an assured pen, never swamping the reader in unnecessary technicalities – although she may very well send them off to Google Images to feast their eyes on whatever work is currently on the page ... There are not enough superlatives to contain the magnitude and beauty of this novel. It explores the very foundations of the meaning of family; is it really a collective gene pool or does the heart of family mean something else entirely? ... Besides being a story of ordinary lives surrounded by extraordinary art, it manages to be a short, extremely entertaining encyclopaedia of Italian, and in particular Florentine, art history ... It’s a fictional biography of not two lives, but of several, and a chronicle of the intertwining of those lives. It’s a celebration of beauty, a story of what Evelyn describes as ‘Continuity. Memory. Family\' ... It is, above all, a testament to love.
RaveIrish Independent (IRE)... a riotous and distinctly British voice in a long-faced, angsty wilderness. Campus novels may be the thing, but it’s refreshing to read a new work about golden oldies ... the Thursday Murder Club solve the Carmichael mystery with considerable aplomb and panache, and the badly shaken Ibrahim gets justice too. But this is not just about comical criminal high-jinks, it’s about old-fashioned things like honour, loyalty, duty and friendship. And a very British kind of stiff upper lip, at which Osman excels. Almost every character is a little creaky around the knees and hips, but the warmth and humanity in the writing makes this a double winner for Osman. Bravo!
RaveThe Irish Independent (IRE)... most unusual ... absolutely savage ... both a quasi-fantasy work and a biting satire. Despite its unfortunate title, Lake of Urine is absurdly funny, a merciless mockery of all our sacred cows (most especially our cash cows) and it pokes endless fun at our basic human need; to feel important, at least to one person, but preferably to more than one ... The author delights in wrongfooting the reader as the plot shifts shapes (and time) and we reel from one delicious scene to another. If that sounds a little chaotic, then the chaos is strictly in the comedy. The novel itself is as tight as a fist ... An audacious love story as well as all the other things it is, Lake of Urine thumbs its nose at any attempt to describe it coherently, but this is part of its maddening charm. The reader is simply immersed in a series of outrageous pastiches, and, as the drama reaches fever pitch, it is then boiled down to its essence: that so much of the meaning we attach to our lives is meaningless.
RaveIndependent (IRE)Hughes possesses an ear for language that is unparalleled, except maybe by Barry himself, and her second novel is a finely tuned symphony ... Hughes\'s dark comedy reads like a post-boom Beckett, if he\'d been let run riot on a heart-scald of a potato farm in Co Roscommon ... The author has won several poetry awards and her first novel made two literary fiction shortlists. I suspect The Wild Laughter will travel even further. Dazzling doesn\'t even come close.