Reviews

  • "A thoroughly absorbing, page-turning narrative in which the author, with his customary storytelling skills, pulls us ever deeper into the imaginative world he has created. It [also] poses challenging questions about the meaning of the past, the idea of progress and the stability of civilisation. It is a fine addition to Harris’s diverse body of work."

    Sunday Times
  • "A return to the type of high-concept novel that made his name . . . [T]he writing is elegant and pacy. The characters are fleshed out and the plot zips along."

    The Times
  • "A truly surprising future-history thriller. Fabulous, really."

    Evening Standard
  • "Harris is rightly praised as the master of the intelligent thriller. Genuinely thrilling, wonderfully conceived and entirely without preaching, it probes the nature of history, of collective memory and forgetting, and exposes the fragility of modern civilisation."

    Daily Telegraph, 5 stars *****
  • "Harris's bleak imagined world issues a clarion call to the present, urging us to recognise the value of progress, the importance of woolly concepts like liberalism and the rule of law, and all the other ideals we’ve spent generations fighting for yet seem prepared to sacrifice on the altar of populism. For make no mistake, this novel [is] very much about the here and now . . . Harris is a master of plotting and, in elegant, understated third-person prose, he ratchets the tension ever upwards . . . this is nothing if not a page-turner."

    Observer
  • "Reading Robert Harris’s historical thrillers feels like attending a Simon Schama lecture on a roller-coaster – you come away with a new perspective on history while feeling dizzy with excitement . . . In The Second Sleep he takes us on a thrilling ride while serving up serious food for thought . . . I doubt there is a living writer who is better at simultaneously making readers’ adrenaline pump while their brains whirr."

    Sunday Express, 4 stars ****
  • "When Harris is at his best — and here he is — he writes with a skill and ingenuity that few other novelists can match. In this case, the usual page turning pleasures are joined by something else: a sense that, through his historical-futuristic setting, Harris has found a unique vantage point to comment on the present . . . This is a novel that not only makes you smile at its author’s brilliance, but induces a shiver of dread at how real it all seems."

    Financial Times
  • "With a story of forbidden love joining larger themes, this vividly imagined, brilliantly clever novel is – as you’d expect from the author of Fatherland and Archangel an absolutely class act."

    Sunday Mirror
  • "Harris . . . is a fearless writer. The Second Sleep races along at breakneck speed. The prose is pure, elegant, never tricky and his imagination knows no bounds. "

    Daily Express
  • "It is a strange premise for a thriller, but Robert Harris is such a wily old hand that it is a pleasure to accompany him on his time travels."

    Mail on Sunday