Jess Kidd’s first novel, Himself (2016), was the story of a murderous secret that struggles to stay buried in a 1970s County Mayo village populated with ghosts. In Things in Jars, Kidd maintains the themes of the undead walking among the living and of something awful struggling under the surface of things, but she sets this highly imaginative tale of anatomical abominations, crazed surgeons and mythical creatures in 1860s London.
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It's 'all lively and entertaining but rather too black and white. Her account of British politics and the success of the Brexit campaign verges on the cartoonish.'
@David_Goodhart on Anne Applebaum's 'Twilight on Democracy'.
'Robert Silvers, editor of the New York Review of Books, once asked Isaiah Berlin who his ideal dinner guest would be. Without hesitation Berlin exclaimed, ‘William James!’'
'She digs her images into her story, so that they blow up like psychic land mines when the reader’s perception brushes against them.'
Hilary Mantel reviewing Margaret Atwood: a #BookerPrize double-header from the archive.