RaveNew York Times Book ReviewThere are beautiful descriptions of Berlin as she drifts through the city ... In synopsis this could appear slight, a difficult second album of a book. However, moment by moment, The Instant begins to accrue an extraordinary weight ... Liptrot’s is a brilliant examination of the dangerous power of smartphones ... Liptrot captures the flattening, insulating impact of handheld devices on the experience of travel ... It is a book distracted by everything: the migration of raccoons, stonemasonry, memory fragments, poetry and gnomic utterances. It is a literature produced by a writer with too many tabs open on their laptop, and because of that, it is the truest thing I’ve read in a long time. It feels revelatory to read serious, thoughtful writing on the sorts of experiences that so rarely receive it. The book is particularly sharp on the agony of a relationship’s aftermath in a digital age ... The Instant is the most elegant examination of the internet’s distance pain I have ever read.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewReaders who might be expecting the geriatric whimsy of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, or the slick gerontological procedurals of Elizabeth Is Missing or The Thursday Murder Club, will be in for a rude awakening. This is a novel of tangles and absences, aggressively resistant to sentimentality. To follow its wrenched syntax is to experience the frustrating dogleg lanes of consciousness, the distortions and failures of memory and self-narration ... this is not to be an encounter with an elderly character whose life is designed to help us extract lessons from it — that inverted child protagonist here to defamiliarize the everyday stuff and remind us all what really matters ... Whether you view the work you are asked to do here as a reader as a pleasure or a chore comes down to the sort of reader you are. I started off feeling as if I were going through a second round of lockdown, before the novel clicked and I found myself in tune with Bina, reading around and back and through her, coming to know her through that process and valuing her all the more because of it. Bina is a bitterly funny novel but one that carries moral weight. Ultimately much of its energy comes from the simple subversive act: making a woman’s life matter, making her voice be heard.