...[a] layered, alternately witty and melancholy story ... In her fascinating introduction to Trick, [Lahiri] writes with captivating skill about the complex language choices she had to make ... It’s all fascinating stuff. But, in a sense, it pulls attention from the novel. I’d suggest reading Trick first, then reading Lahiri’s insightful introduction. Otherwise, like me, you might find yourself marveling at her mastery of language but distracted by wondering how she landed on words like 'agglutination' or phrases such as 'omniscient homunculus.'
These strained relationships already make this engrossing, but then there is something darker still ... Starnone packs a huge amount into a small compass, as he did in his last novel ... For a while Starnone was suspected of being the best-selling author [Ferrante]. With Trick, he shows yet again that he is a much more literarily sophisticated writer than that.
...[an] astute and emotionally precise novel ... Lahiri’s translation preserves the poignancy and humor of the first-person narration, which balances compassion and repressed irritation. The book is packed with endearing moments and clever observations about familial relationships. This remarkably layered work encourages rereading to unearth subtle and new interpretations.
Bar an occasional stumble, Lahiri leads us through Starnone’s narrative corridors in fluent prose with some resourcefulness. At least in this regard, the reader has nothing to fear. But all the explicit discussion of James and ghosts, of genes and DNA, reflections resumed and repeated in a 20-page appendix that, together with Lahiri’s introduction, pads out this fine novella to novel length, will for many readers seem exactly the kind of energy-sapping intellectualisation that Daniele fears is ruining his drawings.