... a very strange novel, beautifully and movingly strange ... The book sounds, in summary, terrible: pretentious, self-serious, unendurable. This makes it all the more remarkable how wonderful it is. The book evades all those pitfalls to become something quite different from what it might seem, something that, like all great novels, somehow exceeds our prior idea of what a novel is. Naturally, the pleasures of plot and character, subject and setting, draw us to novels broadly, but a great novel draws us to a shadow tale at its heart: the story of its style. With Septology, Fosse has found a new approach to writing fiction, different from what he has written before and—it is strange to say, as the novel enters its fifth century—different from what has been written before. Septology feels new. The first-person voice of Septology—a brain voice, not a written record ... While reading Septology, it’s as if it ceases to be a novel at all. I do not mean this in the sense of it being a reaction to received ideas of the novel. There is no whiff of an author making self-important statements ... It’s just that it becomes hard, wonderfully hard, when reading Septology, to think that a novel could be written any other way.
... featuring not a single full stop throughout ... Such is his command of the rhythm of his prose, nimbly and hauntingly translated by Damion Searls, that the omission is barely noticeable, and after a while, engagingly welcome. The work simply loops and flows. The style is formal, yet with a sense of restlessness. As for plot, there is plenty ... Fosse’s fusing of the commonplace and the existential, together with his dramatic forays into the past, make for a relentlessly consuming work: already Septology feels momentous.
Like most of Mr. Fosse’s numerous works of fiction, The Other Name is stark, serious, thoroughly interior and written in an unbroken stream of consciousness that does not call to mind the flowing of a river so much as the steady drip of a thawing glacier ... In Damion Searls’s expertly restrained translation, the writing has the artless, improvised feel of an extended prayer, passing through repetitions, drab descriptive formulas and sudden moments of fervency ... in this book’s rhythmic accumulation of words, something incantatory and self-annihilating—something that feels almost holy.