Margaret Wappler points to a passage in THREATS about blackheads as evidence of Amelia Gray’s aching precision. She seems to like it.
“The narrative gallops along, with dramatic twists, turns and half-resolutions,” Melanie Kirkpatrick writes.
Mr. Lloyd Parry, a veteran British journalist and Asia hand, spent 10 years following the hunt for Lucie’s killer and Obara’s trial. His reporting took him into many dark corners of the water trade, from the sleazy establishments that exploit young women from Southeast Asia to S&M clubs, “a world of manacles and excretion.” It also took him into the maze of Japan’s legal system, which he describes as woefully inadequate to handle such a case.
Even better, they’re not hiding the review behind their paywall!
Dwight Garners issues what we will take as the highest compliment: “It’s a big and sustaining pile of - as I’ve heard it put about certain people’s fried chicken - crunchy goodness.”
James Wood compares John Jeremiah Sullivan favorably to Tom Wolfe and David Foster Wallace - “he is kinder than the former, and less neurotic than the latter” - and then really gets down into his “storyteller’s gifts” - and later adopts an almost prophetic tone as he touches on the state of the creative essay.
In his review of People Who Eat Darkness, Dwight Garner calls the book “not merely an exemplary piece of reportage but a sustained and quietly profound work of moral inquiry as well.”
“People Who Eat Darkness” is surprisingly soulful, especially in its portrait of Ms. Blackman, a young women who still traveled with a favorite stuffed animal, who read self-help books like “The Rules” and who confided to her diary how she loathed, more than anything else, her sense that “every single part of me from head to toe is completely average.”
The author had hoped to find her alive. He confesses he “dreamed one of the oldest male dreams of all: of being the knight who rides to the dark tower, slays the dragon, frees the missing damsel, and basks forever in the glory.” That being impossible, he’s done something nearly as good. He’s restored her to life in this vivid book.
Another wonderful review of People Who Eat Darkness, this time from Laura Miller, who calls the book “an exceptionally perceptive and nuanced look at a terrible crime, one that put nations, institutions and family members at odds, and often into bitter and toxic conflict.” Read more here.
Check out Nika Knight’s glowing review of Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman over at Full Stop: “Delius crafts a symphony out of [his protagonist’s anxieties]...The effect of the book’s overall structure is stunning. The final paragraphs, an emotional coda to the crescendo before it, bring us the text’s first and last period. The thousands of preceding commas, echoing Margherita’s thousands of steps, have lent this sudden full stop an astonishing impact. A single piece of punctuation has, it seems, never held such power.”