• "Wood is not just a keen critic, our best, but a superb writer"

    Adam Begley, Financial Times
  • "A close reader of genius... Illuminating and exciting and compelling... one never doubts the soundness of his judgements... There is wonderful writing throughout this collection, by turns luscious and muscular, committed and disdaining, passionate and minutely considered"

    John Banville, Irish Times
  • "He is one of literature's true lovers, and his deeply felt, contentious essays are thrilling in their reach and moral seriousness"

    Susan Sontag
  • "Magnificent... Like all good critics, he is a story-teller of the art of reading, recreating the experience on the page for us"

    Evening Standard, Francis Spufford
  • "We have very few critics who can vie with Jarrell and Toynbee, who can remind us that talking about literature is a part of what literature is about, and talking about it with passion, precision, and out of a rich store of reading is a rare and precious gift: it is good for all of us that James Wood has it and we have James Wood"

    Gabriel Josipovici, Times Literary Supplement