"A novel that imposes itself on the imagination from the opening sentences . . . Lennon’s brisk prose is both vivid and precise; the dialogue is clear and authentic, often funny. In fact, considering that this is a deadly serious, often bewildering and affecting novel, Familiar is witty and satiric. It is obvious that its genius lies in Lennon’s feel for metaphysical contradictions that consistently undercut the realism . . . a similar approach to the theme of parallel universes and altered experiences within shifting time frames has also been explored in novels such as Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 or Tom McCarthy’s Remainder, neither of which achieves the unsettling mastery of Lennon’s far shorter and infinitely superior novel, which could inspire a brilliant screenplay … Familiar is fresh and original; it is also disturbing in its strangeness, because that strangeness is eerily real." —The Irish Times"The direct present-tense narration and instantly engaging plight prove an irresistible combination. . . . One of the clever things about the set-up here is how neatly it invigorates some of the drearier procedures of conventional fiction . . . a meditation on family and identity likely to stir brain and heart alike." —The Observer
"Lennon is an American writer whose novels delicately probe the psychology of their protagonists. . . . In Familiar Lennon uses his sci-fi vehicle to create eerie fiction. The notion of parallel universes becomes a metaphor for life choices and their results . . . immersion in her alternate realities prompts reflection upon the aleatory nature of our own life, in all its uncanniness." —The Independent on Sunday
"This highly convincing nightmare reads like a thriller; Lennon is painfully truthful about grief and parenthood." —The Times
"Tight in focus and construction and written in a steady present tense. . . . Lennon generally resists the comic and narrative possibilities available to his structure in favour of exploiting its capacity for generating metaphors and analogies—and by refusing to work his way through to a moment of sensible closure, ending instead at a point when things are at their most blurry and brain-teasing, he has constructed an otherworldly narrative that feels fleshed out but not stretched thin." —The Evening Standard
"J. Robert Lennon's beautifully written new novel bristles with menace and suspense—a terrific and disturbing read." —The Daily Mail
I read this novel almost in a single sitting. The first half was terrifically absorbing: an outlandish plot, supple and well-cadenced prose, convincing characters. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Philippe Vandenbroeck
This book was neither particularly well written nor particularly interesting. The protagonist appears to flip into a parallel world early in the narrative. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Susana S. Herbert
I found it to be very confusing. The ending was very anti-climatic. Not worth the time. Glad it was cheap.Published 10 months ago by DH
I kept waiting for a plot. Spoiler alert! Familiar is a written mind trip of a woman who has lost her way and almost the entire book is her head conversations. Read morePublished 10 months ago by suzanne D.
First time reading something by Lennon. The premise intrigued me from the get-go. Very interesting and thought-provoking read. At times, depressing and melancholy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Christine P.
I'm a fan of J. R. Lennon having read most of his books. Familiar had a unique and interesting premise that was well done for the most part. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jan Roelofs
This is a well written book, with a plot which allows a great deal of space to explore mother-son relationships. Read morePublished 13 months ago by NancyF
The premise might seem hokey, but I was completely pulled in, riveted by every word, right until the end. Read morePublished 14 months ago by kirsten wasson
utterly gripping novel. I was entirely lost in the world of it. The ending is a little unsatisfying, but maybe that's inevitable. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mother Brown