At every turn, this story square-dances with cliché, and at every turn it’s thrilling. Jiles, a poet as well as a novelist, has recognized that the best stories are the known ones, as long as they’re told entrancingly and grow ever stranger as they roll on through familiar territory. Mostly she manages this small miracle by keeping her story quietly ironic and exquisitely particular ... this exhilarating novel travels through its marvelous terrain so quickly that one is shocked, almost stricken, to reach the end. So do what I did: Read it again.
...[a] remarkably vivid and compelling adventure novel ... While Jiles is unafraid of sentiment, her ability to keep the plot tense and the dialogue understated creates a delicious tale of constant surprises ... Jiles’ prose sparkles. It is at the same time lush and direct ... Mysterious and masterful, “News of the World” delivers the same sense of exotic wonder to us that the Captain’s articles bring to the frontier Texans.
...stories are empty without heart and soul, and Jiles gives us plenty of both as she renders the pain of loss and the power of words for an old man and a young girl who don’t really belong anywhere anymore ... Jiles grounds her characters’ metaphysical musings in a starkly realistic portrait of the lawless Texas landscape ... Even staunch pacifists may find it hard to resist being thrilled by Jiles’s intoxicating, blow-by-blow account of the way this unlikely pair, outmanned and outgunned, outwit and wreak bloody vengeance on their opponents ... Her lovely and tender novel affirms that the news of the world can be good, if we strive together to make it so.