Reviews

  • "Jennifer Clement's new novel is appallingly timely ... Ms Clement creates a weird poetry of murderous force. Chekhov’s narrative principle—that a gun hung on the wall in the first act must eventually go off—has become a metaphorical rule of storytelling. To reflect American reality, Ms Clement puts a gun on every wall in every room"

    The Economist
  • "A neon fairytale... written in the punchy, exaggerated style of a graphic novel, it’s surprisingly enjoyable"

    Lois Beckett, Guardian
  • "Clement's book is charged with gut-punch sentences and indelible images, but [the] second act is particularly searing ... Propelled to its inevitable denouement less by plot than by the intensity of its author's prose and singular vision, this is an uncompromising snapshot of America's ills"

    Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
  • "Clement's spare, often oblique style makes this book feel like a great lost murder ballad by the likes of Johnny Cash or Nick Cave ... excellent at describing the intensity of the love between a mother and child within a claustrophobic environment, and the disruption that a hostile male presence causes to this bond ... One of those rare books that the reader might wish to be a few dozen pages longer, to spend more time in this fully realised world"

    Alexander Larman, The Observer
  • "Haunting ... poetic ... Full of sorrow and aching sweetness, “Gun Love” provides a glimpse of people who dwell every day knee deep in the toxic waste of our gun culture. They may be America’s forgotten children, but after reading this novel, you are not likely to forget them"

    Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • "Though this world is harrowing, it's also fortified with ample wit and tenderness. The sweet sorrow of doomed maternal love is at the novel's thrumming center, as is the author's cockeyed affection for the region. "In our part of Florida everything was puzzled," Pearl tells us. Gun Love potently illuminates this puzzled land, and the complicated fates of those who dwell in the pockets visitors won't find on a map"

    Laura Van Den Berg, Oprah.com
  • "Offer[s] a glimpse of what a poetics of gun violence might look like… In this book, the machinery of violence purchases a sense of belonging—of thrilling, life-or-death simplicity"

    Katy Waldman, The New Yorker.com
  • "The writing is crisp and the images are sharp"

    Terese Svoboda, New York Times
  • "It’s been a long time since I’ve been so mesmerized with a novel’s each next sentence. Jennifer Clement is one of our most inventive novelists. There’s no telling what she’ll see. Whatever it is, it’s something right in front of us, but—here is the magic trick—something we have never before seen. Gun Love is an amazement: fierce, inventive, tender"

    Rick Bass, author of For A Little While
  • "Through a memorable coming-of-age story set in America’s margins, Clement makes all of these things true at once: A gun is a valentine, a secret-bearer, a penitent, a world destroyer, an exposed belly, an insurance policy, a sudden act of God"

    Salon