"A poignant portrait of modern India (highly recommended by Salman Rushdie, India's master fabulist of "Midnight's Children" fame). Beautiful character development and brilliant thematic structure more than compensate for the rather predictable plot."
"The eerie, stream-of-consciousness ramblings of a newly widowed man writing a diary. In addition to processing his grief- and deprivation-emotions, he begins sorting through a very complex childhood trauma."
"One of the best, most original novels I've read. Narrated by a disturbed teenager in the wake of a school shooting - a decent kid serves as the scapegoat of a messed-up world. Cross "Catcher in the Rye" with "Huckleberry Finn," and include some "South Park" and you will have something like this book."
"A very odd novel. Fascinating aspects of narrative structure; terribly awkward descriptions. I spent much of the novel incredulous and bored, but the brilliantly executed conclusion revalues all of what went before."
"I must be missing something here - I've enjoyed several of Coetzee's other novels, particularly Elisabeth Costello, but this one was completely unappealing to me. A boorish protagonist; a constant sense of frustration and futility; cruelty - a brutal gang rape - and the eventual culmination of the novel in acceptance of cruelty..."
"Strange, disturbing, magnificent...the author's first and, to date, only novel. Faulknerian disjunction of chronological sequence - Wagnerian recurrent motives - major themes of class struggle in modern India."
"Some aspects of this novel are very appealing to me...historical drama of WWI interacting beautifully with an anthropologist's work on an island of recently reformed head-hunters. But what does Lewis Carroll have to do with anything??"
"An Irish childhood novel - funny, charming, and poignant. Of course such a book invites comparison with "Portrait of the Artist," "Sons and Lovers," and "Angela's Ashes" - but as far as I'm aware this particular work is not autobiographical."
"A sprawling novel - I was afraid that historical fiction set in the 18th century English slave trade would be sermon primarily and novel secondarily. This novel, however, is very successful - very powerful, very moving."
"A wonderful novel - delightful in so many ways. Brilliantly conceived, marvelously told. Two beautiful romances. Fascinating pastiche techniques. One of my favorite novels. You will leave the novel wishing you could read the complete works of the fictional Randolph Henry Ash...."
"A period piece following the life of an English butler - narrated in the first person as a journal. The butler's dedication to his (unworthy) master and his concern for dignity have caused him to neglect his own life - which he realizes progressively and still only partially in the course of the novel."
"The book that launched Rushdie's international career. Winner not only of the Booker, but of the Booker of Bookers and the Best of the Booker. Magical realism at its finest - a parable of India struggling towards independence."
"Powerful and chilling story of a white businessman named Mehring in a troubled South Africa. Subtle portrait of race- and class-relations. Brilliantly structured - images inserted in one stage of the narrative recur cyclically throughout."