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Reviews

  • If, as Henry James said, the first duty of the novelist is to be interesting, he would be happy in St Aubyn's company. Double Blind is emotionally cogent and intellectually fascinating. There are reflections and conversations here which adroitly evoke those important intersections where science and our urgent contemporary concerns meet. I was gripped by it.

    Ian McEwan
  • Double Blind is a book of big ideas, in which the characters experiment with medicine, psychology, narcotics, religion and meditation to understand themselves and find peace. But as cerebral as the book is, it is also deeply felt, because St Aubyn has been thinking about these issues for decades

    Hadley Freeman, Guardian
  • This is a novel with heart... Double Blind is both clever and compassionate, confirming St Aubyn as among the brightest lights of contemporary British literature

    Alex Preston, Spectator
  • Shakespearean in scope and tone, moving from the intimate to the universal within paragraphs and providing tragedy, comedy and human frailty... A less practised author would run the risk of over-saturating all the disparate strands, but St Aubyn offers comment on the natural world, genetics, family dynamics, philosophy, psychiatry and ecology without forgetting the tapestry-like threads of the story itself-and provides a satisfying resolution to boot... Brimful of energy, this novel asks big questions-"How could one ever truly enter into another subjectivity?"-without giving us all the answers... Pacey, caustic and self-aware, it is this neatly choreographed dance of themes and ideas that makes for such absorbing and immediate reading.

    Zoe Apostolides, Prospect
  • Likeable and rounded characters and a celebration of the best things in life: the wilderness of Knepp and a touching but complex love story... St Aubyn's reinvention as a writer is heroic and astonishing. He has emerged from the "very difficult truth" of this childhood to write brilliantly about that and, now, about a lot more.

    Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
  • Double Blind is always interesting because St Aubyn is exacting. He takes all of this book's topics seriously; he distills them and gives them all a good shake . . . [Ian McEwan] isn't the only novelist unafraid of serious thinking about technology and science. A.S. Byatt, Richard Powers, Rivka Galchen, Martin Amis, Barbara Kingsolver and the playwrights Tom Stoppard and Michael Frayn are among the others. With Double Blind, St Aubyn joins their company.

    Dwight Garner, New York Times
  • There is in Double Blind a compassion that St Aubyn has elsewhere tended to either eschew or keep implicit. Despite the novel's acerbic edge, St Aubyn is attentive to his characters' suffering and vulnerability whatever their privileges . . . St Aubyn's prose is as elegant as anybody familiar with his previous work might expect. Indeed, so consistent is the writing's quality the reader is apt to miss its many charms, acclimated as they are to it . . . Double Blind is yet another ambitious work by one of today's finest literary stylists

    Luke Warde, Irish Independent
  • This is the best kind of novel of ideas, as entertaining as it is chewy, not to mention immensely pleasurable on the sentence level

    Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
  • St Aubyn has lost none of his ability to create rounded characters...and the witty dialogue is well up to the standard of the Melrose books

    Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
  • I am incapable of reading Edward St. Aubyn's writing without perpetual gasps of astonishment and admiration at the craft of his sentences . . . How consciousness emerges; what genetics can tell us about our existence; the failure of the utopian hopes of genetics to explain everything as recently as twenty years ago -- all of these things are alive in this novel of ideas, along with a deeply felt and moving story of human love and attachment.

    Adam Gopnik, author of A THOUSAND SMALL SANITIES

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