RaveThe Independent (UK)\"Haddon’s glittering tapestry of a novel skilfully redeploys the structures of Pericles’ source material ... The sea is the strongest metaphor in the novel, surging and changing, providing life and death, and becoming an agent of the marvellous. Shakespeare’s late romances are all about those coincidences and supernatural effects which can seem, on stage and on the page, ridiculous. They do, however, indicate the agency of divine providence. In The Porpoise, Haddon gives voice to a character who, in Shakespeare, receives no more than a passing mention, and in doing so, shows the transcendent power of stories to heal and restore.\
RaveThe IndependentPorter writes exquisitely and vividly, carefully deploying tensions, with a fine ear for the myriad nuanced reactions and voices of those involved in the search. If the novel has a fault, it’s that it relies a little too heavily on the miraculous, and that its ending is a tad too complicit with the grammar of convention ... Yet, Lanny is a wonderful piece of work, resonant and uncanny, full of dreamy, quiet moments, reaching towards an engrossing, vivid climax. Attuned to our contemporary malaises, and with a classic sense of style, it marks Porter as a writer to watch.
RaveThe SpecatorAn exquisitely concocted, riveting account of artistic ambition and unrequited love verging on obsession ... Foulds introduces a note of gentle satire, particularly in the overblown way that film people talk about their own essentially vainglorious projects, and in their convoluted complicity with regimes such as Qatar ... despite Henry’s many obvious flaws, Foulds frames him carefully, so that his story becomes urgent: he isn’t an empty-headed luvvie but someone engaged in that most modernist mission — the quest for himself. There’s an oddity about the timings of the plot — a letter delivered much later than I thought it had been — which lends the whole a dreamy sheen. Are we all dreaming? And what happens when we wake? ... Foulds is proving himself to be a versatile writer of intelligence and charm. Dream Sequence is a relatively slim affair; one finishes the book wishing the dream were longer.
PositiveThe Financial TimesThe first part of the book moves at an expansive pace. Sometimes it feels as if we are not in a parallel universe at all, one example being a slightly jarring aside about public libraries ... Here Malcolm is set against an insane scientist with a three-legged hyena for a daemon, whose motivations are not quite sufficient enough to explain his actions, and consequently his presence doesn’t achieve the same level of threat as that provided by Mrs Coulter at her most sinister ... When the book reaches its second half, an urgent sense of excitement mounts, as Malcolm must contend with a terrible flood and undergo a frightening journey to safety. Pullman’s imagination is so enticing that any new window into it is welcome; and to connect once more with a fictional universe of such great power is a delight. Though La Belle Sauvage does not quite attain the fiery, magnificent heights of its predecessors, I’m certainly eager for the next two parts of this new trilogy; there are, after all, many more worlds to conquer.