MixedTimes Literary Supplement (UK)The Passenger and its short \'coda\', Stella Maris...are simply not good introductions to Cormac McCarthy’s work ... Nitpicking aside, these books are a moving final tribute to the panoply of thinkers who have provided the foundation for the wild and varied worlds of McCarthy’s fiction. They are, for all their harshness, pessimism and frenzy, the last of a stretch of deeply humble, occasionally elegiac novel.
MixedTimes Literary Supplement (UK)The reality...is that The Passenger and its short \'coda\', Stella Maris...are simply not good introductions to Cormac McCarthy’s work ... This isn’t to say they’re unsatisfying or disappointing or otherwise defective. But they are definitely best appreciated in conversation with the author’s broader oeuvre ... The dialogue here is as coarse and funny as anything McCarthy – whose humour is often unrecognized – has written in decades, and it reads as if it was recorded yesterday ... As memorable and idiosyncratic as these characters are, each exists as an avatar of fate and a symbol of the illusion of choice, twin subjects that course through McCarthy’s oeuvre ... Formally and stylistically The Passenger is something of a chimera for McCarthy. The main narrative arc is very much of the later period, with a detached tone suited to Western’s increasingly numbed affect, yet featuring jerky skips in time and place ... Nitpicking aside, these books are a moving final tribute to the panoply of thinkers who have provided the foundation for the wild and varied worlds of McCarthy’s fiction. They are, for all their harshness, pessimism and frenzy, the last of a stretch of deeply humble, occasionally elegiac novels.
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)... moments of bliss and beauty are rare, but this is no real gripe since McGuire is so comfortable writing about the nightmarish and repellent. The city’s assault on the senses is particularly well done ... His uses of simile are judicious, the best left for gruesome sounds ... The book’s conclusion is cleverly understated, leading us away from the penultimate act, a final spectacle of gore ... McGuire is always a pleasure—and horror—to read, and The Abstainer is without question a very fine book in and of itself: darkly compelling, with its polished prose and snappy dialogue. And yet, read after its predecessor, it strikes one—despite the dread and fog and blood—as safe, as if its author has too readily returned to a winning formula.
Willem Anker, Trans. by Michiel Heyns
PanThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Anker is not a writer wholly without talents, but imitation cannot be counted among them. Beckett’s Molloy provides clear inspiration for one of Red Dog’s primary conceits, as \'Omni-Buys\' warps and betrays his own narrative ... Yet these interjections become tedious from early on, lacking the wit or intrigue that might justify them—not to mention the originality. It is, however, McCarthy who is served worse, and by some considerable margin. Anker often drifts and indulges in the author’s most recognizable tropes, with long, polysyndetic passages, rampant violence and a grasping for some godly weight ... Red Dog seems very far from flattery.
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement[Porter\'s] polyphonic new novel, Lanny, pays its respects to Dylan Thomas and his radio play Under Milk Wood ... Fragments of conversations and dreams jostle on the page, whorls of text overlap and bleed over the edges, as Toothwort indulges in noise ... The sections of Lanny’s first part that belong to Toothwort deserve to be read aloud or listened to. As in Grief the verse-like prose focuses heavily on sound and rhythm ... Porter’s work comes to serve as an ode to nature and the act of creation.
RaveTLS\"Sheehan deals deftly with these sensitive subjects, tempering his prose with a darkly comic streak that never feels misjudged. As a study in how young men process and express their grief, Restless Souls is a highly promising debut.\