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The Glass Kingdom Reviews

The Glass Kingdom by Lawrence Osborne

The Glass Kingdom

Lawrence Osborne

3.17 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Hogarth
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 20 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781781090787

'Bangkok is the star of this accomplished novel. Its denizens are aliens to themselves, glittering on the horizon of their own lives, moving - restless and rootless and afraid - though a cityscape that has more stories than they know' HILARY MANTEL

4 stars out of 5
John Gray
7 Oct 2020

"Throughout, it is vividly realistic"

Slyly, almost imperceptibly, but quite relentlessly, Osborne subverts crime fiction as a genre and the world-view of its readers. As you turn the pages of this stylish and disquieting tale, you will find your fictions of choice and autonomy crumbling along with the Kingdom.



3 stars out of 5
23 Aug 2020

"The story may lack a fast, hard edge, but it is bewitching "

Bangkok is in a state of revolution, with young people demonstrating on the streets. She is befriended by the mysterious Mali, who has a string of Japanese admirers, and ushered into a twilight world of money-laundering.

But it is her maid Goi and janitor Pop who understand Sarah best, and delicately exploit her. The story may lack a fast, hard edge, but it is bewitching — though for me it has a touch more of Somerset Maugham than Greene.

3 stars out of 5
Lucy Atkins
16 Aug 2020

"The ‘new Graham Greene’ has the strengths of the master — and his faults"

The plot is minimalist. There may be easier ways to steal a suitcase of money, but that shouldn’t matter because, when it works, this kind of novel is fuelled not by plot but by menace, ideas and complex characters. The Glass Kingdom is definitely atmospheric, sometimes wonderfully so, but it takes more than atmosphere to build a new Graham Greene.