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A Lonely Man Reviews

A Lonely Man by Chris  Power

A Lonely Man

Chris Power

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 1 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9780571341214

Patrick's life strikes Robert as brazenly fabricated, yet soon he is compelled to pursue his own story. In a twist on the cat-and-mouse narrative, A Lonely Man depicts an attempt to create art at the brink of empathy and imagination.

4 stars out of 5
Edward Docx
15 Apr 2021

"My advice: buy the short stories and then buy this book and read them back-to-back."

A Lonely Man is Chris Power’s first novel and is an interesting addition to the recent corpus of Berlin-based fiction. Power’s shimmering short-story collection, Mothers, was longlisted for the Folio prize, and this book deliberately draws separate narrative strands (and moods) together – partly to emphasise and play with the differences, partly to offer a consideration of the creative process itself... That said, the last scene of this book is superb, not least because the logic of Power’s plot has required a decision to be made to which he has to commit. My advice: buy the short stories and then buy this book and read them back-to-back.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Sarah Gilmartin
31 Mar 2021

"the book offers an original exploration of the creative process: writer as tortured artist, writer as thief, writer as predator"

Alarm bells ring in early chapters when the book’s protagonist, Robert, a novelist living in Berlin with his young family, spends his time mooching about the city, struggling to write a novel after a successful collection of short stories some years previously. Is this, we wonder, to be a novel about the difficult process of writing a novel? Luckily for the reader, there is a lot more going on than first meets the eye. This is an intricate and elegant story, and cleverly metatextual. A Lonely Man is an exploration of the creative process, and the sacrifices that are made in real life in the pursuit of art.

4 stars out of 5
Johanna Thomas-Corr
14 Mar 2021

"An atmospheric novel of shadows and half-truths makes an elegant debut"

So begins Chris Power’s debut novel, an elegant, atmospheric story of shadows and half-truths. Power shares all of the letters of his surname with his protagonist as well as many biographical details: he is also the author of an acclaimed short-story collection (Mothers, 2018) and has a Swedish wife and two daughters. At times his descriptions of dinner parties and school runs recall the domestic autofiction of Karl Ove Knausgaard. But Power is a very different kind of writer — and A Lonely Man soon reveals itself as a taut, subtle, postmodern literary thriller written with an exacting command over its form.