Reviews

  • "Louis’s greatest strength as a writer is that he feels things so passionately, sometimes to the point of obsession, but that he also has a philosophical turn of mind that explores, rather than neutralises, his feelings."

    Edmund White, Guardian
  • "[B]oth brave and ambitious in its determination never to let its reader, or its author, escape lightly the damaging realities it describes."

    Tim Adams, Observer
  • "[A] harrowing piece of autofiction… History of Violence is a slim but densely layered novel that begins with raw urgency."

    Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times
  • "[A] heartbreaking novel… I find myself captivated by Édouard Louis's books and his raw honesty."

    John Boyne, Irish Times
  • "An intense and uncomfortably thrilling book, which uses the harrowing events of that Christmas Eve as a basis for a wider exploration of class, race and individualism... a novel that is unflinching in its examination of class and discrimination."

    Tash Aw, Times Literary Supplement
  • "[Louis] writes with this amazing honesty and fantastically uncensored, brutal, beautiful clarity."

    Ben Whishaw, Another Man
  • "A painful and astonishing book, it tells the story of that night and its aftermath with ruthless poise and clinical precision… With almost superhuman compassion and moral courage, Louis traces the origins of Reda’s suffering by reconstructing his father’s story."

    Matt Rowland Hill, Literary Review
  • "History of Violence…pack[s] total immersion and cool detachment into a single page. As translator, Lorin Stein keeps faith with its rawness — and its refinement."

    Boyd Tonkin, Financial Times
  • "[A] provocative, incendiary and stunning second book."

    Vice UK
  • "Once more, Édouard Louis has given us something unique; a book so direct, shocking and moving it is like holding live fire in one's hands as the pages turn. Like all great writers, he shows us something of the self so that we might better understand something of the world."

    Andrew McMillan