... brilliant ... Rather than resorting to the familiar tricks of biography-lite — dramatizing tired anecdotes, larding the narrative with undigested research about particle physics and Oppenheimer’s persecution during the McCarthy era — Hall has shaped a richly imagined, tremendously moving fictional work. Its genius is not to explain but to embody the science and politics that shaped Oppenheimer’s life ... The resulting quantum portrait feels both true and dazzlingly unfamiliar.
Ingenious and creative ... rich and fascinating backstories ... Hall has not captured Oppenheimer’s character, as to do so would be to lose his very essence. Instead, she brilliantly creates a fertile spot in her reader’s imagination, allowing us to draw conclusions based on our own realities. Trinity is a masterpiece.
Triumphant ... Each of the anecdotes functions as a compelling story in its own right, and only becomes more powerful when taken together as a complete narrative. With beautiful specificity and nuance, Hall interrogates such major issues as ethics in scientific discovery and breaching the chasm between public and private selves.
... intelligent, elegant and yet strangely elusive ... the writing is elegant and true. There’s much to recommend here, but in the end the novel feels somewhat less than the sum of its impressive parts. The seven viewpoint characters fail to hold the center, and Oppenheimer remains as vague and enigmatic at the end as he was at the start. This is clearly the point — Oppenheimer loved physics, the journalist tells us, because it brought him 'the realization that the very aim of understanding an individual unit might be inherently impossible' — but for readers of fiction, it’s a point that doesn’t really satisfy.
Hall inhabits each of the voices in her testimonials fully, making these speakers’ stories engaging on their own terms — narrative tension is built in as the reader follows these ordinary lives and looks out for another glimpse of Oppenheimer. The novel drags only towards the end: the last testimonial strays too far from Oppenheimer and for too long; and the voice of Helen Childs is perhaps too similar to that of Sally Connolly. But Hall’s explosive fragmentation of Oppenheimer’s life makes for an original book, a novel of the unseen and finally, the unknowable.
A fascinating structure ... pays off beautifully — Hall paints a portrait of Oppenheimer through refraction, resulting in a novel that captures his life fully, but indirectly ... a dizzying, kaleidoscopic marvel of a book, and a beautiful reflection on the impossibility of creating a truly accurate narrative of any person’s life.
A brilliant canvas revealing life's complexities and the enigmatic character who inspired the narrative ... Readers who enjoy fiction concerning real people and general readers of fiction will enjoy this book. Highly recommended.
Hall’s observers paint a picture of not just one man but of humanity ... Each narrator has a unique and convincing voice in this compelling novel centered on the man who saw himself as 'Death, the destroyer of worlds.'
Once again few words go to waste in [Hall's] new book, Trinity, a brilliant imagining of how the details omitted from one notorious man’s story might define him more fully than the broad strokes we already know ... Trinity sounds a wake-up call to those who have failed to ease the threat of planetary destruction through a slowness to effect controls on fossil fuels, other environmental dangers and, indeed, nuclear weapons. If they took action, the world would change. Oppenheimer changed course in his own life–and through Hall’s imagined reading of his mind, she shows us that we still can too.
Ingeniously structured ... Hall excels at creating distinct characters whose voices illuminate their own lives and challenges, as well as the historical period that saw Oppenheimer’s fall from grace. Taken together, they only burnish the endlessly fascinating enigma of the flawed genius who became known as the father of the atomic bomb.