Reviews

  • "

    In this age of lazy reviewing, facile judgment and inflated rhetoric, how is one to convey news of the arrival of a work of genius? This powerful, troubling, moving, profound novel is nothing less. Its architecture - more accurately: its engineering, the construction of it - is a feat of brilliance, so sustained and accurate is it, and yet this is the least of its merits. What really steals one's breath away is its sharpness and depth of insight - a sharpness that flays, and a depth almost too vertiginous to describe - and the remorseless tragedy it unfolds, even as it makes one laugh aloud, sometimes in shock. It is the most intelligent and important novel to appear in this country in years.

    Howard Jacobson's gifts as a novelist of the first rank, not just in England, but in English, are well known. He is a master of the language, whose piercing eye makes him the most excoriating as well as the wittiest of writers. Equally to the point, he is one of that small group of authors whose superiority to the average seems to put him well beyond the competence of Booker and Whitbread judges; it is as if winning any such prize would be a diminution of his stature, for he is in a different league, and this novel proves it... It is, to repeat and to repeat plainly, a work of genius.

    "

    AC Grayling, The Times