Umbrella US reviews

Grove has just published Umbrella in the States, and early reviews have been as effusive as they were in the UK last year.

The Boston Globe: “The result is page after page of gorgeously musical prose. Self’s sentences bounce and weave, and like poetry, they refract. The result is mesmerizing.”

For the full review, go here.

The Economist: “An entertaining and enthralling book … [Self] has managed to write an experimental novel that is also a compassionate and thrilling book—and one that, despite its difficulty, deserves to be read.”

For the full review, go here.

More Umbrella reviews

The Spectator:Umbrella is a magnificent celebration of modernist prose, an epic account of the first world war, a frightening investigation into the pathology of mental illness, and the first true occasion when Self’s ambition and talent have produced something of real cultural significance.”

New Statesman:Umbrella is as much a novel about the historical slump of modernist fiction – and its potential reanimation – as it is about the fates of encephalics … Self has knowing fun with timing his historical shifts to the rhythms of technology; a shop window in 1918 becomes a 1970s television spewing game-show prizes …  a complexly textured, conceptually forbidding thesis about the modern, its art and their discontents. This being Self, though, there is also a great deal of humour, much of it to do with the dismal, drugged, inhuman pass to which Busner’s patients have come after decades in their psychiatric ‘jail within a jail’.”

Umbrella reviews

Financial Times:
‘An ambitiously conceived and brilliantly executed novel in the high modernist tradition of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf … Its scope is dazzling … The switches between perspective and chronology are demanding (there are no chapters), but Self handles them with bravura skill, setting up imagery and phrases that echo suggestively between different episodes … Umbrella is an immense achievement.’ (Full review here.)

The Guardian:
‘Though hard work is certainly demanded from the reader, it is always rewarded. Through the polyphonic, epoch-hopping torrent, we gradually construct a coherent and beguiling narrative. As the title-defining epigraph from Joyce alerts us – “A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella” – fraternity is an urgent concern.’ (Full review here.)