RaveThe Telegraph (UK)It is the mind-bogglingly interconnected nature of such networks that inspires the book’s title, Entangled Life , with its deliberate hint of mystery drawn from the idea of entanglement in quantum physics, where two fundamental particles can share a deep connection even when very far apart. It’s tempting, as Sheldrake points out, to see fungi as the biological model for a better world, where everything is enmeshed in a dance of mutual aid ... One question that recurs through this book is whether we should think of intelligence as something more broadly distributed in the world than we normally assume.
J. M Coetzee
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)The final book of the trilogy...as one might with trepidation expect from its title, is a far darker affair ... For these novels...\'Jesus\' is the name for a phenomenon that arrives from out of nowhere and challenges our received ideas to breaking point, as David does for the adults around him ... \'Jesus\' is the label for a \'wild creature\' (as someone calls David) with a gentle contempt for the norms of civilisation; a disruptive force of ceaseless questioning that irrupts into ordinary domestic existence but is not of it ... It is a name for an unusual child, but also perhaps for any child; and even for the practice of literature itself ... The engine of the novel grinds remorselessly on, but never crushes in its gears a delicate, iridescent mystery.
PositiveThe GuardianThe bestiary of surrealist “manifs,” or manifestations, that Miéville parades before us is dazzling. In the Seine there are sharks with canoe-seats for backs. There are wolf-tables, and a giant baby’s face emerging from the ground ... It is quite a feat to narrate all this in a terse, naturalistic style that is neither overtly silly nor po-faced. The prose reserves its right to outbreaks of sly wit ... overall the effect is exhilaratingly precise and serious, as though Albert Camus had rewritten Raiders of the Lost Ark. What there isn’t much of is dramatic suspense, since, when things get hairy, the characters reveal hitherto unsuspected magical powers ... the author and the reader are well aware by the book’s end of how this intense, scholarly fantasy speaks to our age as well.
PositiveThe GuardianFox’s brief and elegantly righteous essay on pretentiousness is definitely on the side of the angels, if arguably not quite pretentious enough. Its compacted historical sketches sometimes dissolve into mere lists namechecking a series of films or writers, while much of the book muses on the notion of authenticity, and explores the history of the theory of acting – in which everyone is indeed pretending ... The most important contribution of Fox’s argument, perhaps, is his claim that what really deserves to be damned as pretentiousness is not an aiming-up but an aiming-down. 'Anti-intellectualism,' he notes, 'is a snobbery … The anti-intellectual is often anxious not to be marked as part of an educated elite.'