RaveFinancial TimesPorter’s second book, Lanny, is every bit as thrilling and bizarre [as his first novel] ... Lanny defies straightforward generic classification, with its shifts between continuous and lineated prose ... Though these strange forms might suggest that Lanny is a difficult book, it is, in fact, eminently readable—partly because of its dreamlike lucidity ... The most jarring aspect of Lanny is the juxtaposition of its fantastical cast of characters (reminiscent of Jim Crace in his stranger moods) and its unapologetically contemporary setting ... It is difficult not to see this as in some sense a \'post-Brexit\' book, which dramatizes and critiques a certain idea of national character. Sometimes this is not subtly done ... Lanny is an unabashedly peculiar little book. Some readers may find the strangeness of the form and Porter’s propensity for bizarre metaphors and lavish figurative language off-putting, even pretentious. But for those willing to suspend judgment about what a good novel \'should\' look like, it is a magically beguiling work, a triumph of artistic vision.
RaveThe Financial TimesJim Crace captures more concretely than perhaps any other writer the permanence of absence, Crace’s novels are nothing so straightforward as allegory; we are offered no takeaway messages or pat moralities.
A book at once full of wry humour and achingly sad, The Melody is every bit as strange, otherworldly, and finely wrought as readers have come to expect of Crace. This is a fine contribution to the oeuvre of perhaps the most underrated novelist writing in English today.
RaveFinancial Times...a ravishing tale of love ... This novel is every bit as strange and sensuous as Celt’s lyrical debut, The Daughters ... Despite its exceedingly dark subject matter, however, the novel possesses a human warmth that even Nabokov’s most tender novel, Pnin, never quite manages to achieve ... To write a homage to arguably the finest English-language prose stylist of the 20th century takes a great deal of nerve. Fortunately, Seattle-born Celt is an exquisite writer; her sentences take hold of you and will not let go ... Celt writes with great tenderness and humour ... The novel’s critique of Nabokov is as sharp as the admiration is intense ... The question invited by every homage is whether it merits being read by those who are unfamiliar with the source of inspiration. In the case of Invitation to a Bonfire, the answer is, emphatically, \'yes.\'