Monday, November 19, 2012

MacLehose Press in London are happy with London reviews of C.K.Stead's novel

C.K. Stead

C.K. Stead will be the guest of the BBC’s World Book Club on Saturday 1st December

“Risk is an elegant and assured novel. It is a pleasure to read a writer who knows just what he is doing and how to do it. It is written with agreeable economy, welcome at a time when so many acclaimed novels are fat baggy monsters. C.K. Stead is a poet as well as a novelist, but there is, happily, nothing poetic about his prose . . . So much of the pleasure of reading a novel are in the detail – the observed or imagined detail, and in the author’s ability to capture particular moments and the trick and rhythm of daily life. Stead does this exquisitely”
allan massie, Scotsman

“Readers of Capital, John Lanchester’s recent novel, will appreciate this as a companion piece. For me, it recalls Drabble’s The Ice Age, set in the wake of the 1973 property crash with similarly dazed characters thrust into wealth for reasons they cannot explain . . . A few chapters in, I found myself in the grip of an artist with the ability to capture mood and beauty in a sentence”
john gapper, Financial Times

“The gifts that helped Stead scoop the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award in 2010 are underscored here, particularly his lean style: he has the ability to set the scene in a few pithy lines and condense more telling details into a handful of pages than many writers manage in their entire chapters . . . he also brings to the table an outsider’s beady eye and an erudite yet lightly worn allusiveness” 
trevor lewis, Sunday Times

“Fine, thoughtful and insightful writing” 
eithne farry, Daily Mail

“Stead’s writing offers many pleasures. He has a particular skill in abstracting from a landscape the features that can sum it up in a handful of words, and he makes some excellent jokes … this is an entertaining portrayal of the years of excess and deceit” 
n.j. cooper, Book Oxygen

1 comment:

Mark Hubbard said...

After purchasing Risk some weeks ago, I finally got around to reading it this weekend when we went down to stay at a friend's in Oamaru for the Victorian Fete. Read 80% of it across the two days and probably have annoyed everybody for being anti-social. (Actually, I think I have).

It's not his best novel, but the phrase in this review, 'a pleasure to read', hits the mark well. One of his characters, Tom the poet, friend of protagonist, Sam, will become one of my favourite characters in NZ (and world-wide) lit, though some of the other characters, like the newly found daughter, Letty, just don't quite seem to work for me as fully realised characters. But I've still got the last twenty percent to read. I suspect he'll bring me around.

I love the political undertones (overtones) in the novel, and Stead is probably showing the way to write a 'political' fiction (not for the first time - must read 'Smith's Dream'; a big gap in my reading).

Postscript: part of the joy of why I read so much this weekend is because there was no Internet working on my iPad ... big lesson in that :)