RaveThe Boston ReviewEdward St. Aubyn, born in 1960, is the most fascinating of contemporary literary investigators into the phenomenon and experience of class ... St. Aubyn’s prose reaches a crescendo of note-perfect viciousness when he writes about the members of the braying classes ... The novels, however, are not some innocuous version of Louis Quatorze’s court; rather, they are a ruthless dissection of a particularly English kind of behavior ... It is a loathsome world, where amorality is a trifling price to avoid being taken as a bore or a prig. The style with which St. Aubyn skewers this world draws on a coruscating repertoire. There is Wildean wit ... It is a style at once saturated with controlled hatred and anger and soaring in its beauty—prose endowed with the meticulousness of a surgeon’s steel ... Good satire on the privileged classes has been done before. What distinguishes St. Aubyn’s anatomy of this class is that he uses the class novel to enact its own literary redemption rather than settling for satire alone ... \'Beauty plus pity—that is the closest we can get to a definition of art,\' Nabokov wrote of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. That seems an apt description of the Patrick Melrose quartet ... Quite apart from the brilliance of its prose style, the quartet will come to be seen as a seminal work in English fiction for having fashioned an ethical style, pressed into the service of an emotional and moral truthfulness, using yet transcending its vertiginous displays of mere cleverness or self-regarding irony.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal\"...a dense, rich, exhilarating piece of work that moves deftly between worlds and peoples, between locations (Tibet, Cornwall, London, the Karakoram range, Berlin, Calcutta, the Garhwal mountains), between the private dramas of individuals and the tectonic shifts of history ... Part of what the book achieves is a lucid rendering of the complex web of filiations and affiliations that connected not only these three central figures but also others in their orbit and in their disparate, often far-flung worlds ... it is to Ms. Baker’s credit that she keeps the big events always in view, dramatizing and humanizing the workings of history, particularly the story of empire and its machinations, in a way a novelist would—by making it a story of individuals. She understands everything about these people, the details of their lives, the connections and the criss-crossings, intersections, overlaps, friends-of-lovers-of-friends. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that there is something Tolstoyan to her vast project. Ms. Baker’s other great achievement is an unsparing depiction of the hypocrisy, venality and inhumanity of British colonialism.\
RaveThe Guardian...[a] deeply strange and brilliant new novel ... No one writes a post-apocalyptic landscape like VanderMeer, so detailed and strange in all its lineaments and topography, at once a wasteland and yet seething with the weirdest kind of flora, fauna and biotech, that last category manifesting yet again his abiding interest in the cross-pollination between the human and non-human ... The education of Borne coils around to become an education for his educators and, by extension, the readers – how do we understand non-human minds? Can we even ascribe processes of cognition to a creature such as Borne?
Stefan Hertmans, Trans. by David Mckay
RaveThe Guardian\"War and Turpentine is the astonishing result of Hertmans’ reckoning with his grandfather’s diaries. It is a book that lies at the crossroads of novel, biography, autobiography and history ... Narratives of the first world war are not exactly thin on the ground, but even with such bristling competition it is undeniable that these 90 pages are some of the most distilled expression of unremitting horror ... has all the markings of a future classic.\
RaveThe GuardianWhite writes of this world with great humour and knowingness and while he is clear-eyed about its absurdity, he never descends to savage satire. This open-heartedness, an essential White quality, makes his writing sparkle with generosity ... While so inexorably tethered to materiality, it is also a book that floats above things, so light is its touch, so playful and joyous its execution.
RaveThe GuardianIn Patience, a love story like many of Clowes’s novels, the incursion of sci-fi is at first delightfully surprising and thereafter modulated so effortlessly that you see behind the irony of that self-consciously purple-prose blurb to the truth it encapsulates ... This is a deeply affecting book, and despite its gritty prose, colorful language and hardboiled trappings, a tender one, its sustained undertow of tenderness and melancholy giving it a surprising delicacy.
RaveThe GuardianDramatic irony, used sharply by Osborne, keeps the narrative edgy and gripping, but it is the meditation on luck, or chance, and the irrational, carried over from his previous novel, that gives Hunters its meaning ... Written with unfailing precision and beauty, Hunters in the Dark stakes out territory different from the many writers to whom Osborne has been compared.