‘Fiercely intelligent, very funny and unlike anything else I’ve ever read’ MARK HADDON
'Original...witty...playful…a wonderfully funny book' JAMES WOOD
'A triumph – a genuinely new story, a genuinely new form' A. S. BYATT
Eleven-year-old Ludo is in search of a father. Raised singlehandedly by his mother Sibylla, Ludo’s been reading Greek, Arabic, Japanese and a little Hebrew since the age of four; but reading Homer in the original whilst riding the Circle Line on the London Underground isn’t enough to satisfy the boy’s boundless curiosity. Is he a genius? A real-life child prodigy? He’s grown up watching Seven Samurai on a hypnotising loop – his mother’s strategy to give him not one but seven male role models. And yet Ludo remains obsessed with the one thing his mother refuses to tell him: his real father’s name. Let loose on London, Ludo sets out on a secret quest to find the last samurai – the father he never knew.
Her style is brilliantly heartless, and cork-dry; original herself, she is a witty examiner of human and cultural eccentricity. She is, above all, playful… What grounds all DeWitt’s brilliance and game-playing is the way that she dramatizes a certain kind of hyperintelligent rationalism and probes its irregular distribution of blindness and insight…a wonderfully funny book, but comedy dances near the abyss; the apprehension of humor’s frailty links DeWitt to the tragicomic tradition of Cervantes, Sterne, and Nabokov
A bold, brilliant book…original both in content and form… DeWitt’s zeal cannot fail to enchant
An exhilaratingly literate and playful first novel by a fresh, electrifying talent. DeWitt goes to the top of the class...her adventurousness spins out on an epic scale