Reviewers respond positively to Michele Roberts' Negative Capability
26th May 2020
Critics had no minus points for Michele Roberts' Negative Capability: A Diary of Surviving(Sandstone), hailing the memoir as "mesmerising" and "exquisitely written"
"the real healing in this book seems to lie in Roberts’s gift for turning the stuff of the everyday into something so mesmerising that it lifts you into another realm..."
— The Sunday Times
4.5 out of 5
"an ideal protagonist for our times, not a goddess but a detective of the domestic..."
— The Guardian
Out of My Skull
James Danckert, John D. Eastwood
"(a) highly interesting and suggestive book on the analysis of boredom from a strictly psychological perspective..."
"powerful... (a) rich, enigmatic novel..."
— The Observer
4.18 out of 5
"a groundbreaking, earthquaking vision, a story and a manifesto..."
The Consequences of Love
"(a) wise and moving memoir..."
4 out of 5
Natalia Borges Polesso, Julia Sanches
"Polesso’s writing is brisk and fresh, and she captures the bleak human comedy of the myriad ways we mess up when it comes to matters of the heart..."
James Gardner (Author)
"Gardner, with his eye for colour as well as architectural detail, is right when he suggests that visitors should spend ... more time looking at the building...."
Patrick Barkham (Y)
"Patrick Barkham’s memoir about trying to raise his children in harmony with nature is thoughtful and poignant..."
A New Ireland
"conservative critics will argue that O’Dowd’s account is too black and white..."
— Irish Times
Set My Heart to Five
"I wouldn’t be surprised if this pacy and emotive story finds itself better suited to the screen..."
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
"Asking big questions, this is fantasy for those who like their violent horror breezily tempered by philosophy...."
3.75 out of 5
History Has Begun
"required reading for anyone who wants to understand the country that invented itself — and the modern world..."
"A film version must be on the cards..."
Dying for an iPhone
Jenny Chan, Mark Selden, Ngai Pun
"The post-coronavirus world may not be one where high-end electronics will be so cheap to manufacture..."
"There’s too little that’s fresh here, and much of it is implausible..."
"these vivid passages feel like first-hand reportage..."
"Hillary Clinton’s life is brilliantly reimagined in Sittenfeld’s enjoyable sixth novel..."
3.29 out of 5
"the chapters that resulted are tantalisingly powerful, but there are simply not enough of them — a fuller overhaul was arguably required..."
The Chiffon Trenches
Andre Leon Talley
"His writing style may be as pompous as his reputation and as camp as his collection of designer kaftans, but such stories about the fashion greats make for perfect lockdown gossip..."
Son of the Waves
"It is interesting to see how pragmatically humane the navy could be, particularly in peacetime..."
3.57 out of 5
Writers & Lovers
"this ménage à trois is heartfelt, but should be messier..."
— The Sunday Telegraph
The Fairest of Them All
"The Snow White tales that Tatar presents here are not as slick as the confections of the Grimms and Disney...."
"Disrupting the world — from a small bedroom in Hounslow..."
— The Spectator
4.33 out of 5
Napoleon and de Gaulle
Patrice Gueniffey, Steven Rendall
"there is a nice symmetry to their stories..."
"The glorious details — lamprey cooking included — are what make it a pleasure..."
Colin Barr (University of Aberdeen)
"Ireland’s Empire is a well-written, solid study of the politics of the Cullenite takeover of seven national churches..."
"A European arbitrator leading Middle East negotiations grieves for his wife in a low-key but profound novel about human frailty..."
Latitudes of Longing
"Readers will stay with Swarup for these vibrant creations, and for the depth of her insights..."
"entertaining, uplifting, and very likely to reach the broad audience it courts...."
— The Daily Telegraph
4.08 out of 5
How to Belong
"This atmospheric read is simply beautiful..."
— Woman & Home
"Read this astounding, mind-altering book, and I promise you you'll never look even at the mildew in the bathroom, the mould on your marmalade, or mushrooms in the supermarket in the same way again. ..."
— The Bookseller
The Residue Years
Mitchell S. Jackson
" Jackson’s writing crackles and sparks with startling insights and descriptions..."
" a madcap mashup described by the author as “Stranger Things in the French Revolution”..."
I Am An Island
"A writer’s struggles in a remote corner of Scotland make for remarkable reading..."
"a visceral tale of survival horror that takes some neat sideswipes at the paradoxes and pretensions of American liberalism..."
— Financial Times
"A summer sizzler set in suburban Surrey..."
— Evening Standard
His and Hers
The Last Trial
"another perfectly executed legal thriller..."
"(a) remarkable, enlightening book..."
— Daily Mail
"as exciting as anything Connelly has written..."
— The Times
Diary of a Young Naturalist
"Reading this marvellous diary leaves me with the impression that whatever the future holds, with young people like McAnulty coming to the fore it will be in safer hands..."
Smells: A Cultural History of Odours in ...
Robert Muchembled, Susan Pickford
"A vivid and provocative gallop through history ..."
The Unremembered Places
"anyone reading this engaging book will learn much and have pleasure in doing so...."
— The Scotsman
What Comes After Farce?
"Foster’s lively and eloquent book convinces us that provocative artistic interventions remain possible..."
"In this compellingly candid set of autobiographical essays, the Iranian American author recalls ‘trying on and discarding selves’..."
Dr Alyson J. McGregor
"he core content is hair-raising and potentially life-saving...."
"A new history that puts this family back at the centre of world history..."
4.44 out of 5
Sing Backwards and Weep
"Friendship with Kurt Cobain, spats with Liam Gallagher and a brutal chronicle of addiction … the Screaming Trees singer’s candid memoir..."
4.4 out of 5
Sorry for Your Trouble
"Death, divorce, ageing and the whiff of disappointment of lives lived and misunderstood stalk the pages..."
4.25 out of 5
The Celestial Hunter
"A poetic, erudite exploration of history, myth and hunting as the first ‘art for art’s sake’..."
"It is hard to imagine a finer account, both of the sweep of Italy’s wars, and of the characters caught up in them..."
When We Fall
"a gripping wartime thriller, driven by two memorable heroines..."
3.5 out of 5
Looking for Eliza
"it’s a likeable if unchallenging novel, at times genuinely warm and witty..."
3.25 out of 5
"every page is illuminated with erudition, intelligence and sensitivity..."
"What makes this book a great read, however, is the way Dumaine shines a light on the man who has made Amazon such a success...."
The Motion of the Body Through Space
"Few novelists now raise a laugh. Shriver does so time and again...."
2.87 out of 5
4.21 out of 5
The Mirror and the Light
4.47 out of 5
A Thousand Ships
Girl, Woman, Other
4.19 out of 5
3.91 out of 5
An American Marriage
4.76 out of 5
My Sister, the Serial Killer
4.05 out of 5
The Silence of the Girls
4.79 out of 5
4.14 out of 5
4.45 out of 5
Mr Atkinson's Rum Contract
"Love, adventure, skulduggery, moral outrage — what a story..."
The See-Through House
"(a) remarkable, moving tribute to a house and a father,..."
4.42 out of 5
Apropos of Nothing
"as witty as it is problematic..."
— New Statesman
3.14 out of 5
Lessons From a Warzone
Louai Al Roumani
"Syrian banker Louai Al Roumani offers a compelling guide for leaders grappling with the pandemic..."
"(a) caustic movie memoir from a gnomic genius..."
4.2 out of 5
"(a) thoroughly gripping biography..."
"her story (is) worth telling, and Ball is definitely up to the task..."
What Have I Done?
"What Have I Done? is heartbreaking and brutal in its honesty..."
Inferno: A Memoir
"Inferno is a haunting, eloquent evocation of becoming a stranger to yourself..."
4.63 out of 5
Crossing the Line
"he lifts the lid on that underworld of despair, degradation and needless death..."
The Inevitability of Tragedy
"Gewen seeks to escape this cartoon depiction of Kissinger, absurd in its Manichaean extremes...."
Love in the Blitz
"A recently discovered cache of letters from the Blitz are funny, moving, despairing, erotic — and always inspirational..."
3.7 out of 5
Walking a Tightrope
"The physician who treated China’s leaders is a candid witness to corrupt power in Olivia Cox-Fill’s biography..."
Warhol: A Life as Art
"Blake Gopnik’s life of the artist gets behind the glare of his fame to track the dance between art and commerce..."
3.36 out of 5
Aziz BineBine, Lulu Norman
" a powerful tribute to human fortitude and imagination – and perfect reading for incarcerated times..."
Lost, Found, Remembered
"It is a story that deserves to be told...."
Hidden Valley Road
"This book is as much a story about the children who escaped schizophrenia’s cruel clutches as it is about those who fell victim to it..."
The Fall of the House of Byron
"In sharp but sympathetic terms, and with an eye for vivid detail, Brand revives the strange and colourful siblings of the poet’s grandparents’ generation..."
3.78 out of 5
"The most compelling material here is about the restaurant world..."
Mother: A Memoir
" a strikingly beautiful collage of the many moments that made a mother and son’s “hearts knock together”..."