Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 30 March 2012
Quite simply this is the best novel I have read over the last year. It almost has a will of its own, an insistency that demands that you keep reading it and will not let you stop until you breathlessly reach the end.
I'll readily admit that it's not always an easy journey. It can be raw, ragged and uncomfortable, but it has a tender and compassionate core that ultimately restores your faith in humanity.
In Billy Smith May has created an authentic and utterly believable character, emotionally flawed and occasionally almost psychotic. At the outset Billy is ill-equipped to deal with the care of Oscar, his younger brother, as they both try to come to terms with their Mother's murder. But Billy knows that Oscar is relying on him and that he needs to shape up, despite the fact that his own life isn't exactly working out.
May's observations have the precision of a surgeons scalpel and the cast of characters he has assembled are sharply defined and truthfully rendered.
Many reviewers seem to want to compare May to other writers (Nick Hornby, David Nicholls, Kate Atkinson, Dave Eggers and even J.D. Salinger....and that's just on the inside cover of the book!). Personally I think he stands on his own as a major talent without the need for lazy comparisons.
I had wondered whether May could write another book which was as strong and self-assured as his debut "TAG". But this wonderful novel demonstrates that Stephen May is developing into a literary force to be reckoned with.