... [an] excellent new novel ... short and brisk, propelled by the suspense of multiple questions ... Ciment writes with a mordant intelligence and, refreshingly, doesn’t belabor topics that in someone else’s novel might take up many pages ... Another of the many pleasures of this novel is how knowingly but matter-of-factly Ciment depicts class distinctions ... One suggestion: Don’t read the jacket copy, which gives away more than it needs to. Even so, the story ends in a way I hadn’t expected. I was left unsettled by this deft and gripping novel, and also deeply impressed.
...deft orchestration of absurdity and existential dread distinguishes Ciment's style. That's why the situation of Ciment's latest novel, The Body in Question is so perfectly suited to her powers as a novelist...The droll and the horrifying mingle in the flat air of the courtroom and the limbo of the juror's lounge ... All of this could be the stuff of melodrama, but Ciment's incisive language turns The Body in Question into a profound story about mortality and the mysteries of human behavior. By trial's end, we're told that Hannah and the other jurors have 'run out of small talk and can no longer abide one another's company without alcohol.' But, as a reader, I happily could've been sequestered for a while longer within the confines of Ciment's smart and disturbing novel.
...stark and absorbing ... At first the flat, impersonal nature of the writing muffles the volatile emotions. There are scathingly funny scenes about the bewilderment and boredom of jury sequestration ... This is a smart, compact, refreshingly unsentimental exploration of the persistence of desire amid the fact of death.