PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)The cliché-ridden, exclamation mark-littered style of Barry’s monologue is impressive in its consistency, even if it’s occasionally wearying ... Batlava Lake is heavily laden with quotidian and period detail, almost in spite of the wider scope offered by its international setting ... while we are clearly meant to find Barry’s bottomless narcissism funny...the jokes don’t always land as smoothly as in his previous fiction. Nevertheless, as a dark satire of 1990s liberal interventionism and the blithe ignorance that in reality underlay many peacekeeping missions, Batlava Lake is a suitably coruscating and intricately constructed piece of work.
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)The influence cast by WG Sebald over contemporary fiction grows ever longer. Daisy Hildyard\'s intriguing first novel is profoundly indebted to the late German author through its use of disparate images...to lend verisimilitude to her inwardly historical but outwardly fictional text. ... In Sebald\'s fiction, personal histories circle like vultures over the inexplicable terror of the Holocaust; the central flaw in Hildyard\'s novel is that it lacks any comparable anchor. Nevertheless, Hunters in the Snow is a remarkably intelligent debut and the prose is impressively nimble.
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement\"The self-assurance of Lee’s prose is, however, far more secure here [than in his previous short story collection] ... Occasionally [Lee] succumbs to cliché... but for the most part Lee’s prose is marked by an understated descriptive acuity. His eye for detail is sharp ... he narrative concludes with a twist of sorts (it is not hard to foresee), but the real accomplishment of Tom Lee’s novel is its haunting evocation of the insidiously dystopian climate of English suburbia.\
RaveThe Times Literary Supplement... incendiary ... can be read as autofictional in so much as its plot bears a close resemblance to Walker’s own life, but its taut prose and carefully balanced structure attest to a novelistic artifice ... avoids the sub-Hemingwayesque lyricism of previous Iraq war fiction ... recalls Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son (1992). We are reminded of Johnson’s unforgiving world of addiction, crime, terrible jobs and of the sense of life being measured out in hours rather than days. The prose, too, is stylistically similar. Nico Walker writes with real rhythm, exhibiting a poet’s discrimination about adjectival choice and the relative length of clauses. It is a rare and remarkable achievement to turn such suffering into a novel of such finely calibrated beauty.