Reviews

  • "Hangdog dejection and unlikely epiphanies infuse these offbeat, beguiling essays. Searcy’s writing is by sharp turns goofy, wry, and melancholy, tentative at times but always curious and superbly evocative. His essays meander along wisps of metaphorical connection, leaping from tooth-flossing to 17th-century housing, from Zuni religious rituals to cereal box prizes, from his mother’s stilllife painting to medieval Platonism. The result is a funny, haunting journey through mysterious enlightenments. "

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • "The book’s best passages are its simplest. A chapter called 'Love in Space' contains lucid memories of what it was like to be seven during the race to the moon, when 'the call to space rang clear across the land'. As with Dyer and also Karl Ove Knausgaard – whom Searcy resembles in his confessional style – the ability to re-inhabit the childhood self gives freshness to adult observations. Writing and paintings and films, Searcy is succinct and insightful."

    Times Literary Supplement
  • "The essays in this debut collection… suggest what might happen if Stephen King somehow morphed into David Foster Wallace… Meaning and mystery coexist in Searcy's mind, and his offbeat, exciting writing will resonate with readers for whom "you never know" and "who knew?" might be mantras."

    Kirkus (starred review)
  • "A sharp and profoundly wise book."

    The Herald
  • "As the title suggests, Shame And Wonder is a bittersweet book, but also a sharp and profoundly wise one."

    Western Mail
  • "Brilliant... if you hang on, you'll be rewarded with the kind of unexpected insights that a mere pointy delta writer could never hope to achieve."

    The Scotsman