Reviews

  • If, as Henry James said, the first duty of the novelist is to be interesting, he would be happy in St Aubyn's company. Double Blind is emotionally cogent and intellectually fascinating. There are reflections and conversations here which adroitly evoke those important intersections where science and our urgent contemporary concerns meet. I was gripped by it.

    Ian McEwan
  • Double Blind is a book of big ideas, in which the characters experiment with medicine, psychology, narcotics, religion and meditation to understand themselves and find peace. But as cerebral as the book is, it is also deeply felt, because St Aubyn has been thinking about these issues for decades

    Hadley Freeman, Guardian
  • This is a novel with heart... Double Blind is both clever and compassionate, confirming St Aubyn as among the brightest lights of contemporary British literature

    Alex Preston, Spectator
  • Shakespearean in scope and tone, moving from the intimate to the universal within paragraphs and providing tragedy, comedy and human frailty... A less practised author would run the risk of over-saturating all the disparate strands, but St Aubyn offers comment on the natural world, genetics, family dynamics, philosophy, psychiatry and ecology without forgetting the tapestry-like threads of the story itself-and provides a satisfying resolution to boot... Brimful of energy, this novel asks big questions-"How could one ever truly enter into another subjectivity?"-without giving us all the answers... Pacey, caustic and self-aware, it is this neatly choreographed dance of themes and ideas that makes for such absorbing and immediate reading.

    Zoe Apostolides, Prospect
  • Likeable and rounded characters and a celebration of the best things in life: the wilderness of Knepp and a touching but complex love story... St Aubyn's reinvention as a writer is heroic and astonishing. He has emerged from the "very difficult truth" of this childhood to write brilliantly about that and, now, about a lot more.

    Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
  • There is in Double Blind a compassion that St Aubyn has elsewhere tended to either eschew or keep implicit. Despite the novel's acerbic edge, St Aubyn is attentive to his characters' suffering and vulnerability whatever their privileges . . . St Aubyn's prose is as elegant as anybody familiar with his previous work might expect. Indeed, so consistent is the writing's quality the reader is apt to miss its many charms, acclimated as they are to it . . . Double Blind is yet another ambitious work by one of today's finest literary stylists

    Luke Warde, Irish Independent
  • This is the best kind of novel of ideas, as entertaining as it is chewy, not to mention immensely pleasurable on the sentence level

    Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
  • St Aubyn has lost none of his ability to create rounded characters...and the witty dialogue is well up to the standard of the Melrose books

    Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
  • Where Patrick Melrose's trauma was childhood abuse and neglect, for Francis it's abuse and neglect of the planet, for which a new interconnectedness with nature is the only cure... It's bold of St Aubyn to write a novel that's so much about science and about so much science... ideas matter and so does the novel of ideas.

    Blake Morrison, Book of the Week, Guardian

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