14,765 book reviews and counting...

Books in the Media Update

This website is no longer being updated; theBookseller.com is the home of all books related-content and will continue to be updated with regular articles about books featured in the media. Thank you for using this website, and we hope you join us on theBookseller.com.

Take Nothing with You Reviews

Take Nothing with You by Patrick Gale

Take Nothing With You

Patrick Gale

4.38 out of 5

5 reviews

Imprint: Tinder Press
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 21 Aug 2018
ISBN: 9781472205339

'Absolutely one of his complete best' Stephen Fry - a stunning, compassionate and mesmerising novel from the author of the Costa Shortlisted A PLACE CALLED WINTER

4 stars out of 5
15 Oct 2018

"he taps into a range of experiences and emotions that are both specific and beautifully universal."

...Gale writes with an eye on impermanence, showing how loss can be tinged with hope, and new beginnings with the threat of mortality. He is excellent at capturing time and place and while he doesn't avoid social commentary - Eustace is alive to the nuances of the British class system, and his mother's internalised homophobia has drastic consequences - he embeds it within the narrative so that it doesn't feel superimposed.


5 stars out of 5
Sophie Ratcliffe
19 Sep 2018

"a sexy, sophisticated coming-of-age tale"

It's hard to make writing feel this easy and compelling. Gale's translucent prose and subtle structuring are artful but never showy. (It's a gift he shares with Anthony Trollope, who gets a few fond hat tips here, not least in the title.) It's also very sexy. Passionate, appetitive, flirtatious, Gale can write of the mind, but he also gets the body – from the bat-squeak of arousal in a London club, to the heady musk of teenage fumblings in a bed of "ivy, discarded crisp packets and used condoms". 

4 stars out of 5
25 Aug 2018

"An evocative exploration of the joy and pain playing an instrument can bring"

It is worth noting that, for his 16th novel, Gale has revisited the subject matter of his first, The Aerodynamics of Pork, published in 1985... Take Nothing With You poignantly illustrates the curse of being born with musical talent but lacking the essential spark of genius, yet is suffused with the joy and wisdom of Gale’s mid-life reconnection with music.

5 stars out of 5
Paul McVeigh
25 Aug 2018

"You’ll be carried along by the music of Gale’s prose, his charm, wit and warmth"

Gale weaves his life experience with his fertile imagination. Perhaps this is what imbues his work with such heart and authenticity, and what makes Take Nothing With You, so readable, so believable, so . . . lovable. You’ll be carried along by the music of Gale’s prose, his charm, wit and warmth, and his empathy for us, for what it means to be human and other.

4 stars out of 5
24 Aug 2018

"an emotionally charged and humane tale beautifully conveying a child’s partial view of the world."

Having built up the tension stealthily Gale rushes to a slightly abrupt conclusion but that is a small caveat. This is an emotionally charged and humane tale beautifully conveying a child’s partial view of the world.