From Publishers Weekly
The author examines the patterning of his characters' lives as they form and reform themselves into conspiratorial pairs, in this novel of four couples and their assorted offspring. "Mathews manages to tinge familiar objects and places, such as New York, with a delectable strangeness," stated PW .
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has the delicate yet rigorous architecture of latticework: if we concentrate on the light streaming through its apertures we are still attentive to its carpentry; if we focus on its geometry the light is, of needs, a constant presence. It is a triumph of the imagination. -- Gilbert Sorrentino
A brilliant Jane Austen-like social comedy on the unfathomable nature of human relationships. -- Lanie Goodman, Washington Post Book World
A brilliant and unsettling book. . . . Mathews weaves into each of his several story-threads more unexpected twists than you'll find in the average multi-volume Victorian novel. -- Tom Clark, Los Angeles Times Book Review
Harry Mathews is the only American author I know whose utter originality does not erode his heart and his content. Cigarettes
is odd, skillful, touching, wide, cultured, and engrossing. -- Ned Rorem
Mathews takes us more interestingly than ever into that unfinished work of art, the self, exposing powerful dependencies and subtleties in a cast of characters distinct and poised yet half-goping toward others and themselves. The plot, the tale, the laying bare, are intriguingly staged and timed in a novel as imaginative as it is disturbing. -- Joseph McElroy
There is a relentless quality of incident, but Mathews runs the whole sequence without a hiccough of implausibility or forced conjuction. -- Times Literary Supplement
This book is remarkable, involving as a 19th-century saga and as original as any modernist invention--a rare combination of readability and ingenuity. In Cigarettes,
Mathews has forged his most expressive style. -- Edmund White
Wonderfully fresh and inventive. -- David Lehman, Newsweek