Reviews

  • "Dazzling...the panache and subtlety of his prose perfectly match that gusto and creative finesse of the High Victorian world his novel wonderfully evokes"

    Sunday Times
  • "An ingenious novel… O’Connor’s work is hugely impressive and utterly haunting"

    Sunday Mirror
  • "Joseph O’Connor is a very great artist and storyteller. The quotient of enjoyment in his extraordinary new novel is stupendous"

    Sebastian Barry
  • "A hugely entertaining book about the grand scope of friendship and love, it is also, movingly – at times, astonishingly – a story of transience, loss and true loyalty"

    Guardian
  • "A work of Gothic splendour...O'Connor's writing is always intensely atmospheric. As a romp through Ripper-ravaged London, Shadowplay is mightily entertaining. But as a meditation on hidden sexuality, it is powerful and poignant"

    Literary Review
  • "A fabulous novel that tells the otherwise largely unknown story of the man behind Gothic horror's most enduring character… The narrative stretches decades, and throbs with theatrical vigour. This is writing at its most immersive, full of Dickensian pulchritude and pathos. It should, and might well, win prizes"

    i
  • "A rollicking tale… an affecting depiction of artistic and social emancipation… O’Connor’s well-researched theatrical caper offers total immersion in a romantic, lost London... be nourished by a colourful tale of secret love and public performance"

    The Times
  • "There are few living writers who can take us back in time so assuredly, with such sensual density, through such gorgeous sentences. Joseph O’Connor is a wonder, and Shadowplay is a triumph."

    Peter Carey, twice winner of the Booker Prize
  • "Gorgeously dark… Shadowplay is an accomplished, compelling read"

    Herald
  • "A hugely entertaining and atmospheric novel, one can almost smell the greasepaint"

    Deborah Moggach