• An essential work. The Doll is mesmerising, and like Kadare’s family home conceals both darkness and flashes of light in its interior

    Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times
  • The poignant observation, bitter irony and misspoken fear running through the narrator’s central relationship with his mother, a woman secretly terrified of being disowned as unworthy the moment her son achieves the fame he so desires, are what dominate this fascinating study of a difficult love.

    John Burnside, Guardian
  • In a properly ordered world, Ismail Kadare would by now have got the Nobel prize for literature. By any reckoning, he is one of the most important living European writers, a man whose work is as compelling as any novelist to have emerged from the vanished world that was the Communist bloc

    Melanie McDonagh, Evening Standard
  • Laconic, sinister and drily funny... Miss this fatalistic, deadpan wit, well served in John Hodgson’s nicely crafted translation, and you miss something essential in Kadare.

    Boyd Tonkin, Spectator
  • Albania's greatest living novelist has invariably explored his country’s repressive political legacy in his strange and brilliant novels... [The Doll] can only enrich our understanding and appreciation of Kadare’s writing.

    Daily Mail
  • An evocative, captivating story. Every word of this short book is there for a reason. The considered, precise language (translator John Hodgson has done a fine job) leads smoothly through various – no doubt carefully selected – life events with The Doll being the thread which holds it all together... It’s a category-defying feat of literary engineering by a writer who is totally in control.

  • A master storyteller

    John Carey
  • [A] coldly brilliant novel

    Kevin Brazil, Times Literary Supplement
  • A novelist of dazzling mastery


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