• "So elegant is Barnes’ prose that it’s easy to overlook his comic talents...this is Barnes cementing his reputation as a lively, curious reader as well as one of Britain’s best living writers."

    Tom Cox, Sunday Times, Books of the Year
  • "Engaging, eloquent, entertaining and erudite... There is a capacious generosity throughout this book, and I would defy anyone not to leave without feeling both better informed and better disposed... It is rare indeed for a collection of occasional pieces such as this to inspire feelings of profound thankfulness."

    Stuart Kelly, Scotsman
  • "A truly wonderful collection."

    Sunday Times
  • "The book relies on stylish intelligence and cool calm to accomplish its mastery… This is a coquettish book. Barnes flatters readers into feeling that they may be as shrewd, discriminating and attractive as he is."

    Richard Davenport-Hines, Spectator
  • "A devastatingly brilliant critic."

    Olivia Laing, Prospect