RaveThe New York Times Book Review... though Katherine Hill works one character at a time — portrait by portrait, psyche by psyche, time frame by time frame — in her novel A Short Move, she crafts a deftly detached third person to speak with one voice ... The beauty of the novel is that the teams don’t particularly matter. You go from one to another, your career hurtles on, your exhaustion grows. The pace of the storytelling here is breakneck — an entire life wind-sprints past — an elegant time-lapse in which we see the flower bud, bloom, wither, die. A short move, let’s call it ... There are very few scenes of football here, only enough to get the flavor of the hits, the taste of blood, the price of the zone, the attraction of attention, the distraction of it, too. Instead of dramatic play-by-play and hackneyed triumph, Hill gives us the more quotidian moments that come after the game, between seasons, after the sun of youth sets, some of them cruel ... This is definitely a good book for football fans. But it’s a great book for fans of men and boys, so many of them caught up in the dark world of dreams come true. And in that way, A Short Move isn’t about football at all.
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewIt’s not even a novel in the normal sense, but rather a mass confabulation that evaporates in front of us, an astrological divination waning like the moon, the first section 360 pages long (or are those degrees?), the last a mere sliver. But it’s a sliver that delivers … A score of major characters take turns as protagonist. They headline in set pieces and protracted scenes, suffer shootings and poisonings, enact strategic whoring, survive storms at sea, find treasure sewn in dresses, lose the treasure, find it again … The Luminaries is a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new.