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Critics never say never to Sammader's memoir

The Week in Review

Rhik Sammader's I Never Said I Loved You (Headline) prompted reviewers to say the exact opposite, with Helen Davies in the Sunday Times declaring it "a blazing account of depression" and Kate Kellaway in the Observer pronouncing it "one of the most eccentric and uplifting memoirs I have ever read". Despite the subject matter, she added, "It is indecently entertaining: there are moments when one feels guilty for enjoying the writing so much." Leaf Arbuthnot agreed, writing in the Times, "I can’t name a memoir that has made me feel more empathy for the writer, or yearn more strongly to bundle them in a duvet and make them a hot chocolate."

John Larison's Whiskey When We're Dry (No Exit Press) slaked the critics' thirst, with Antonia Senior writing in the Times, "This epic western has a modern novel’s interest in gender and sexuality, but never loses its visceral and authentic sense of time and place." The voice of the heroine, Jessilyn, who disguises herself as a boy to travel across the west, was universally praised, with the Daily Mail's Elizabeth Buchan describing "the punch and intensity of the writing and the voice of Jessie" as "rather remarkable" and Nick Rennison in the Sunday Times describing her as "richly idiosyncratic". Jake Kerridge in the Daily Telegraph agreed, writing, "Larison makes the reader believe in [the premise] through the remarkable skill with which Jess's narrative voice is realised."

As the spy trend gains ground in both fiction and non-fiction, reviewers praised Frank Close's Trinity: The Treachery and Pursuit of the Most Dangerous Spy in History (Allen Lane). In the Guardian, Graham Farmelo wrote of the biography of "atomic spy" Klaus Fuchs: "[Close's] account of how an admission of guilt was gradually prised from Fuchs is a masterclass in thriller writing, and bears comparison with the most gripping spy sagas of Ben Macintyre." Roger Lewis in the Sunday Telegraph pronounced it "an astonishing story, as gripping as [John Le Carre's] Smiley’s People" and Manjit Kumar in the Times praised it as "a work that could go toe-to-toe with any historian specialising in events surrounding the beginnings of the nuclear age."

Rhik Samadder

3.90 out of 5

5 reviews

A vital, moving and darkly funny memoir by a powerful new voice in non-fiction.

John Larison

4.00 out of 5

5 reviews

From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west

Frank Close

3.91 out of 5

6 reviews

"Trinity" was the codename for the test explosion of the atomic bomb in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. Trinity is now also the extraordinary story of the bomb's metaphorical father, Rudolf Peierls; his intellectual son, the atomic spy, Klaus Fuchs, and the ghosts of the security services in Britain, the USA and USSR.