I’m reading it right now, 100 pages in.
And I’m very, very impressed.
From the perspective of someone who knows Mr. A’s work like the back of my hand (his Chivas Regal ‘Because’ ad has been hanging in my bathroom for years), has worked for him for a scant-but-amazing six months, and has written a novel of my own, I have to say that I think it’s a brilliant achievement.
It’s taken me a while to read it because most people I asked about it seemed somewhat lukewarm.
Then my mum gave me a copy last week and I haven’t put it down since.
It’s kind of Ian MacEwan-esque but with more elegance (at least compared to Saturday and Solar) and less flab.
It seems to have taken him a decade from retirement (if I recall correctly, he stopped working specifically to write it) to publication, and, somewhat depressingly, it shows. It seems like every sentence, every word had been chosen with painstaking care to be just right. Is that how long it takes a great writer to do that? Fuck. No wonder my airport novel only took a few years.
Anyway, grab a copy today and sink into it like a warm bath in which you occasionally find a piranha.