RaveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Beginning in Dublin, with a long encomium to the magic mushroom, Doyle opts for a flat, essayistic style reminiscent of Ben Lerner, rather than the hyperventilating register of his first book ... If the novel’s minor characters are never given the time to breathe, or develop, and the self-regarding narrative voice can sometimes be irksome, the moments of genuine humour compensate ... Like much recent autofiction, Threshold perhaps shouldn’t be so compellingly readable, especially given its core theme of drug-taking. Tell a trip, lose a reader, but Doyle’s writing does the opposite, with considerable panache. The novel ends with an exploration of DMT, \'the apex of psychedelic drugs … too weird and disturbing even for the open-minded hippy generation\'. DMT’s effects take the narrator to the very edge of the ineffable – something Doyle also comes close to achieving for the reader in his boundary-nudging fiction.
RaveThe GuardianRoss Raisin’s exceptional new novel addresses and overturns these preconceptions and conventional notions of masculinity in the most unexpected and sophisticated fashion. And, as with most sports novels, it’s not really about sport. It’s about ambition, friendship, rivalry, talent, and how early potential always meets the implacable wall of adult reality. Also, it’s about the love that still dare not speak its name ... Raisin adumbrates Tom’s sexual awakening as sensitively as Alan Hollinghurst, as lubriciously as Edmund White. Not since Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain has there been a better portrayal of a conflicted male sexuality ... Raisin forcefully explores notions of normative masculinity, without censure or preaching ... the book presents a brave and subtle portrait of a soul in torment. It’s a winner.