...[a] masterful epic ... It is a beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring. Here we have a poet at the peak of his symphonic powers taking a great risk, and succeeding gloriously ... Robertson, who must have given years to researching his material, writes of war with appalling immediacy, surveying the carnage with a calmly Homeric eye ... The Long Take is a masterly work of art, exciting, colourful, fast-paced – the old-time movie reviewer’s vocabulary is apt to the case – and almost unbearably moving.
The Long Take, then, is a version of the story of an epoch. And it is immaculately researched in terms of geography, current affairs, and its constant cultural touchstones in the Hollywood films of the time ... Unfortunately, the book is also quite repetitive, in needless as well as effective ways, and palls in places. Moreover, some of the American and Canadian slang feels a little excessive or ventriloquized ... Nonetheless, it is often moving and engrossing: a ballsy move on the part of Robin Robertson.
Robin Robertson is the latest in this line of generic bedfellows ... considerably more modern, complex, political, and, though cinematic, probably less filmable than March’s narratives ... despite its peregrinations in time, place, and rhythm, Robertson’s poem, when it comes to its inner workings, is also surprisingly novelistic ... Though the poem’s diffuseness tends to lessen its visceral impact, The Long Take remains a remarkable work.