RaveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Despentes hits all of the nodal points in contemporary Parisian life, but in Frank Wynne’s inspired translation, the novel transpose[s] smoothly to London or any Western metropolis ... Despentes is a great satirist, but the novel avoids the predictable dead-end of default cynicism because she fully inhabits the sexual habits, desires, ambitions and hatreds of all her characters ... sprawling and masterly ... Part pulp fiction, part picaresque realism, Vernon Subutex races along, hilariously tracing the dissolution of French civic life in the twenty-first century. But the pain felt by its actors is real and often heartrending ... Despentes is often described as a \'rock and roll\' Balzac or Zola. She also resembles, by turns, William Gibson, George Eliot and Michel Houellebecq, with a sunnier attitude ... There are great lines on every page ... Friendships and alliances emerge across this vast web of characters in a series of intermeshed subplots composed like a high-concept television series.
RaveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksHow Should a Person Be?’s deft, picaresque construction, which lightly-but-devastatingly parodies the mores of Toronto’s art scene, has more in common with Don Quixote than with Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls or the fatuous blogs and social media it will, due to its use of constructed reality, inevitably be compared with ... For all of the wildness contained in Heti’s account of her struggles, the book is perfectly composed within the classical structure of five-act dramatic narrative ... Heti’s use of real art-world names, real events, real conversations and correspondence, owes a large debt to the work of the late Kathy Acker, which, due to our short cultural memory, might be obscured by the tedious arguments for and against the \'generational narcissism; of social media ... Despite their prolific drinking and drugging, Sheila and her friends are, at bottom, quite wholesome: they hold most of their conversations during walks, they ride their bikes to each other’s houses.