Upstate by James Wood

Reviewed by
November 2018, no. 406
Brenda Niall reviews 'Upstate' by James Wood

Upstate

by James Wood

Jonathan Cape, $35 hb, 224 pp, 9781787330627

Upstate by James Wood

Reviewed by
November 2018, no. 406

Forget the author – it’s the book that matters. That’s sound advice, but there are times when it is hard to follow. James Wood’s Upstate is a testing case. A quietly reflective little novel, elegantly written, with four main characters and a minimal plot, Upstate doesn’t look like a literary time bomb. Yet because its author is a renowned literary critic, it is bound to set off disputes about the idea of fiction that his book represents. As one of Wood’s many admirers, I would rejoice if he had written a masterpiece. Others might feel a degree of Schadenfreude in judging that he hasn’t. Wood is not free to write a novel that is merely good; he is called to perform to his own standard of excellence.

Brenda Niall reviews 'Upstate' by James Wood

Upstate

by James Wood

Jonathan Cape, $35 hb, 224 pp, 9781787330627

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.