RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewSay his name like this: Key-shot. His quest is a long shot, and there’s a gun involved. (Trigger warning: The gun talks.) Quichotte needs more than one key to more than one door, although, at last, because this is a fairy tale, the final door opens by itself ... How we see the world—and how the world sees us—are the big themes of Cervantes’s epic. Rushdie’s version holds true to that tale, but because we are post-Freud, the matter of identity is also at the heart of Quichotte. Identity includes race. What does it mean to be brown and not white? What do white people see when they see brown people? ... Rushdie has always written as though the impossible and the actual have the same right to exist ... The lovely, unsentimental, heart-affirming ending of Quichotte...is the aslant answer to the question of what is real and what is unreal. A remembrance of what holds our human lives in some equilibrium—a way of feeling and a way of telling. Love and language.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewOne of McBride’s strengths as a writer is that she doesn’t fill in just for the sake of it. The Twitter-style brevity of her sentences — with none of the Twitter-style banality — ensures that it’s the reader who’s filling in the gaps, not of story or intent but of language ... there’s an openness, an inclusivity, a distinct lack of God-almightyness, that makes reading her such a pleasure ... The run-ons of speech characteristic of her style can be overused. Not breaking up the conversational dialogue leaves the reader with pages of dense text and no coming up for air ... It was begun before Girl was published and together they make a soundscape. Reading them back to back is an encounter with a writer for whom language is an end not a means, a beginning not an end.