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Sentenced to Life Reviews

Sentenced to Life by Clive James

Sentenced to Life

Clive James

Score pending

1 review

Category: Poetry, Non-fiction
Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 22 Sep 2016
ISBN: 9781447284055

Sentenced to Life was critically acclaimed on publication and went on to be the bestselling original poetry collection in the UK in 2015.

5 stars out of 5
Vicki Laveau-Harvie
27 May 2020

"James’s slim but dazzling collection shows that poetry can be the antidote to the numbness many of us feel"

Sentenced to Life delivers a big bang of meaning and connection, rich space to explore if we are equal to the challenge of discovery, if we will take the time. These poems are not heavy or difficult but they are profound. They take on the important themes – mortality, love, regret, exile – and speak to us of grief and loss, of uncertainty. The collection was meant as a farewell and a reckoning of sorts – James tells us this – but the poems have everything we expect from him: lightness of touch, effortless mastery of form, erudition, clarity, wit. A thread of kindness runs through them as well. They are a joy to read.