PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...like a gentle, Midwestern riff on David Cronenberg’s Videodrome (maybe with a pinch of Fargo thrown in for good measure). If it were a video, you might find it in the horror aisle, dropped there by a pimply clerk unsure where else to put it ... but ultimately the novel doesn’t belong in the horror aisle. I couldn’t tell you where it ought to be filed, and maybe that’s O.K. Darnielle’s aims are finally sweeter, quieter and more sensitive than one would expect from a more traditional tale of dread. He writes with the simple clarity of a young adult novelist, effortlessly sketching modest lives in the green, empty expanses of the heartland. Much of what seems, at first, to be merely skillful ornament — descriptions of desolate barns and scouring winds — turns out to be at the very center of the story itself. Grief is a landscape, Darnielle seems to imply, that is so often explored alone, and where shelter is hard to find.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe author’s mastery of his material occasionally falters, in small ways. He renders the social and historical tensions of long-ago Oxford so well, in such compelling fashion, that Wonderland itself occasionally loses its luster...Still, it seems wrong to quibble when presented with such a tasty froth of incident and such a fine, unforced sense of play.