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Adam Roberts is the author of a growing number of science fiction novels, short stories, essays and other writings. This site contains not just his blog, but everything you could ever want to know about everything Adam has ever published. And more...

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Things Themselves

By Adam Roberts | December 16, 2015
Categories: Book News

So: my author copies finally arrived.


There have been some reviews, ahead of Thursday's publication date (hmm: I wonder if anything else sciencefictional is launching on Thursday?) It was discussed on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Review, where the three talking heads proved divided amongst themselves: one disliked the novel, saying it was too clever for its own good; one was on the fence about it; but one, John Tusa, loved it: saying 'I'm very very glad I read it' and that 'Adam Roberts has this extraordinary, restless mind'.

Other review news: the novel is the lead review in the latest SFX, where it gets four stars out of five. Upcoming4me called it 'a new genre in itself', and said it was 'deeply fascinating but hard to understand'. And the estimable Kate Atherton, over at her For Winter Nights blog, had this to say:

"The Thing Itself has a wonderful fluidity and grace. Its ideas are complicated but the novel is also accessible, lightness easing the complexity. There is humour and great character, real depth of emotion – fear, love, panic, guilt, terror, guile – and also enormous sin. Contrasting with the humanity on parade are the glimpses of something other worldly, slotting into each of the stories with such originality and quirkiness. I had to re-read several passages to check that I really had just read what I thought I had. I loved the strangeness.

I do appreciate a novel that makes me think while also entertaining me. The Thing Itself marries the two to perfection. There is so much packed within these pages and, without doubt, it’s one of those memorable novels that will stand to repeated readings over the passing of time. A book of the year for me, for sure."

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1 Comment so far

One Response to “Things Themselves”

  1. Ken Mann Says:
    January 4th, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I seem to be seeing "too clever" more and more as a derogatory criticism of writing. This puzzles me as I associate cleverness with quality in literature. Does anyone criticise painters for being too good at painting? (actually come to think of it I think I did see someone say this of Dali, so as you were).