RaveThe Herald Scotland (UK)... impressive ... This is a nuanced biography. Its subject contained multitudes. Angier investigates most and with remarkable results ... The major flaw is that Sebald’s wife did not co-operate with the biographer. This is especially frustrating when one of the lines of inquiry is Sebald’s seeming aversion to physical love ... Her research is exhaustive, her discoveries regularly enlightening and her conclusions consistently sound ... Yet Sebald resists capture in all his foibles, flaws and greatness. This escape, though, is to the credit of Angier. When she doesn’t know, she says she doesn’t know. She also, as a lover of Sebald’s work, knows that he defied definitive judgment. He could lie in an interview with the same facility with which he invented seemingly authentic histories on the page ... Angier resurrects him. His books remain vibrant, vivid.
RaveThe Scotland Herald (UK)Rory MacLean’s Pravda Ha Ha is...a triumph, made all the more commendable by its inherent challenges ... MacLean chronicles the surreal while surveying the brutally real ... His writing style, too, remains pure in its colour and profound in its conclusions. However, Pravda Ha Ha is deeply disturbing book ... MacLean paints a convincing portrait of a Europe in turmoil ... MacLean is brilliant at creating scenes. He can revisit the past, mixing warm nostalgia with cold distaste. He is, though, at his best when he states his personal truth that has been honed from surveying the landscape, talking to the victims and perpetrators and gauging what was once the reality of 30 years ago and what presents itself now.
RaveThe Scotland Herald (UK)... a book of philosophy, a novel that seeks significance in the most vital arena ... This is a story of how to die but also of how to live. If it reeks of death, it also bristles with what makes life worth living ... The style is deceptively facile. Keneally, curiously, remains an underrated writer. This may be because he is astonishingly prolific ... Keneally has remained consistently engaging, provocative and original down the years ... a book of wonder and regular brilliance ... Keneally’s art is to make the profound accessible. The important is rendered seamlessly ... invigorating.