PositiveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewAlthough Waters is definitely up to constructing a big, entertaining story, her strength seems to be in blueprinting social architecture in terms of its tiniest corners and angles, matters measurable by inches rather than feet — small moments we recognize but have never articulated, even to ourselves … The story is laid out along serious lines — postwar hard times, forbidden love, murder, justice — but it is equally a comic novel. The ridiculous martyrdom of Frances’ chores. The tackiness of Lilian’s wardrobe and décor. The mesmerizing ghastliness of her relatives … Perhaps Waters’s most impressive accomplishment is the authentic feel she achieves, that the telling — whether in its serious, exciting, comic or sexy passages — has no modern tinge.
RaveThe Los Angeles TimesHis death became a flash point for left and right, and the truth around it remains smoked in mystery ... The result of the journey is The Lazarus Project, a novel about a man named Brik, a writer from Bosnia now living in Chicago, who takes his friend, Rora, a photographer, on a trip to retrace Lazarus\' path ... Hemon places his narrative on two tracks: Lazarus\' story weaves in and out of Brik\'s — two very different immigrant experiences ... Though his story and Lazarus\' provide dramatic contrasts, there\'s an off-kilter sway to the narrative as the tone flips between dark humor and the brand of sorrow you can\'t joke your way around ... The parallel protagonists of this book are separated by more than just a century.
PanThe New York Times Book Review\"[Yanagihara] obtains narrative traction by withholding information. Where did Jude come by his limp, his chronic pain issues? What exactly is \'the injury\' referred to time and again? This mechanism sparks the reader’s voyeuristic interest but comes with a sullying sensation. After a while, I understood I was being enticed to watch someone’s terrible suffering from a comfortable distance ... Yanagihara’s success in creating a deeply afflicted protagonist is offset by placing him in a world so unrealized it almost seems allegorical, with characters so flatly drawn they seem more representative of people than the actual thing. This leaves the reader, at the end, wondering if she has been foolish for taking seriously something that was merely a contrivance all along.\
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review“The book operates in a storytelling mode, a looping reminiscence by an adult Ijeoma. A few times she even steps forward to address the reader in a confidential tone. There are few stylistic flourishes; Okparanta prefers to step aside and allow Ijeoma to plainly tell her story, giving the novel an intimate feel.”