RaveThe Guardian (UK)Punchy and uncompromising ... may be fictional, but there’s no doubting the emotional truth and grit at the core of these stories. It’s a potent collection by an author who mined the richness of both his ancestry, his work within the Aboriginal community and his island home for tales about black and white relations, colonialism, class friction, racism and the despoilment of heritage and environment ... Indigenous culture and politics – all the blurry nuances of categorisation and identity – are explored with forensic delicacy that belies the power behind the hand ... Tonally, Born Into This moves with fluid versatility, from righteous anger to sly satire ... With its wit, intelligence and restless exploration of the parameters of race and place, Thompson’s debut collection is a welcome addition to the canon of Indigenous Australian writers of the calibre of Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko, Tara June Winch and Ellen van Neerven ... It serves as a salient reminder that there is no monolithic Aboriginal Australian; the book thrums with a cacophony of voices and experiences. Some of his characters hide their vulnerability and loss amid fronts of machismo, others are more like tinnies bobbing in a raging ocean beyond their control. Like the native trees being razed, they were \'born into a hostile world and expected to thrive\'. This book bears witness to their struggles.
PositiveThe Sydney Review of Books (AUS)I found Ivy, the middle character, nestled as she is between the more complex Margot and Summer, to be a bit of a disappointment in terms of characterisation. Thomas does a disservice to her by giving her a fairly anodyne role in the book ... Overall, Thomas’ writing is a pleasure to read: spry, confident and coolly intelligent ... Beckett’s play is used as a catalyst for recollection of events in the protagonists’ own lives. However, this device can be a little too heavily relied upon for progressing the narrative ... Of course Thomas is illustrating the truism of art reflecting life but the connective tissue of symbolic incidents between performance and reality does feel a little too easily matched up.