PositiveThe New Republic...fiendishly readable ... very few of the novel’s details feel false, and some are eerily on-the-money ... The central question of the novel is whether Nate is responsible for abusing his unsolicited power. And the answer is pretty clear: Yes. Nate is awful. But we only know that because at certain key moments...Waldman tips the scales pretty heavily against him ... actually, I think this generally excellent novel is at its weakest when it is making Nate maximally loathsome, and at its best when, without judgment, it displays a supple understanding of Nate’s predicament—the undeniable fact that he did not \'ask for\' his amazing advantages ... Nate is not a cautionary tale; for him, crime pays. Rather, he is a reminder that self-improvement must be self-driven. Only the conscience can make mensches of us all.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewWith thickets of facts, Price unfurls social history in tandem with the successes and failures of the Aliquippa High Quips ... Price seems interested in making the town itself the central character at the expense of its residents, although certain voices, including Ditka’s, predominate. More consequentially, Price chooses not to grapple extensively with a somewhat stunning paradox: About 25 years ago, the trajectories of Aliquippa and Aliquippa football parted ways.