PositiveThe TimesGough, who wrote the ending to the online game \'Minecraft,\' favors short sentences. Very short. Almost. Too. Short. His style is Tense . . . Real . . . Vivid. Random italics multiply. Questions . . . hang? My God, you think, it can’t go on like this. It goes on. When Colt orders a pizza, he describes its texture as: \'Weird. Gluey.\' So is the plot ... Nevertheless, and despite being several thousand lines of computer code out of my depth, I found Connect propulsively paced and ingeniously twisting. Gough has written a hyperactive, adrenaline-junkie dystopian thriller that deserves to be made into a belter of a film franchise.
RaveThe TimesA Life of My Own is an antidote to the pappy, pop motivation of Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington, with their Lean In and Thrive manifestos ... [Tomalin] should be a heroine to modern snowflakes who melt at the first setback. Tomalin is like a glacier, unstoppable, inexorable, gathering grit and resolve as she goes ... The book is poised and beautifully paced. She reels you in and casts you out. She is intimate and confiding, distrustful and reclusive. She is like a new friend who spills secrets, pours out her heart, then shuts up like a clamshell when you ask for more.
PositiveThe Times UKThe mind does funny things, argues Thomson in Unthinkable. Odd things. Unnerving things. In this fluent, eye-opening book she explores what happens when the mind misbehaves: distance is distorted, memory plays tricks, people hear in colour and see in music. Thomsons’s style is wonderfully clear. She never talks down to the layman. If there is academic jargon, she carefully explains it, drawing useful analogies. She is the science teacher you wish you’d had at school.
RaveThe TimesPoirier’s approach is cinematic ... There is incident and sexual intrigue on every page. Poirier spins several plates of the story at once ... Poirier moves easily between Paris, London and New York. She deftly assembles her characters in Brooklyn and Bloomsbury ... At times I did lose track of the dizzy sexual ronde and its various ménages à trois, quatre, cinq ... Poirier gives a useful cast of characters at the front of the book (I do like a crib), also a chronology and an annotated map of who lived, loved and danced where ... One small complaint: we never really get to the bottom of the significance of the Left Bank. We take it for granted that Rive Gauche stands for cool, alternative, bohemian. But why there and not the Right Bank, or Montparnasse? The introduction needs a beginners-start-here explanation of what combination of geographic, economic, social, historic, political and architectural circumstances made the Left Bank such a crucible of experimentation. Other than that, Poirier’s hugely enjoyable, quick-witted and richly anecdotal book is magnifique.
RaveThe Times (UK)\"There is a creeping claustrophobia to this collection. With a few exceptions, events take place in narrow confines: a rented attic flat in Belfast, a doer-upper in Brooklyn, a desert island, neighbouring suburban back gardens. Shriver’s chamber pieces are thrillingly tightly written. Walls press in ... Shriver writes a bimonthly column in The Spectator and there is a topical, satirical sharpness to these modern moral (and immoral) stories ... All Shriver’s stories are satisfying. I exhaled a little triumphant \'Ha!\' at the end of each one. She gives you not the ending you wanted or expected, not necessarily a happily-ever-after, but a feeling of rightness, resolution and unjust deserts. Shriver is brilliant at the \'twitch upon the thread\' that brings the wandering reader back with a hook through the cheek.\