Reviews of Richard by Ben Myers

10 October 2010

The reviews have been coming in for Ben Myers' stunning novel, Richard, and it's creating quite a storm. We've selected the best of them for you to read here.

 

'Myers is finest when relating the mechanics of life in and around a rock band; never once is there a dropped beat. He understands the reactionary nature of the post-punk diktat, the people it attracts and its importance to lives given up to it.' The Times

'[an] excellent book...In the most arresting of sections, Myers draws on all his journalistic skill and fan-boy credentials to give a realistic account of Edward's final days. Some Manics fans, not to mention the band themselves, have been less than enthusiastic about the book, understandably given its harrowing depictions of mental and physical health at the time. Yet Myers deserves credit not only for adding a third dimension to Edwards, but for trying a fourth, for attempting to document a period of his life that seems destined to remain a mystery, but could explain much about his complex character . . . Maybe, thanks to this book, [Edwards] is at last getting something he deserves - an insight into his personal conflicts, his efforts to maintain wellbeing and his desire to do the right thing.' The Times

'this moving, tender novel tells the story of a lost boy adrift in a world that he can't make sense of...Myers' recreation of Edward's life is sensitively handled - an exploration of a troubled, articulate man who was shy and withdrawn.' Marie Claire

'… Richard is not a provocation, nor does it claim to solve the Richey mystery. It is a sympathetic and sad imagining of the boy who became a reluctant pop idol before that notion became oxymoronic.' Time Out

'What is sure is Myers' skill for storytelling; the absence of any cynicism, a certain hypnotic meditative pace he successfully employs that draws you in as the novel progresses and a mood of melancholic nostalgia, a tantalising nostalgia for a time not long passed but gone forever, before social networking and mobile phones, when NME was samizdat and music, art, culture were things you risked getting your head kicked in for. And a nostalgia for places and people, of course, who are no longer here.' 3:am

'A novel for our celebrity-obsessed age, a thorough investigation - written in beautiful prose - of a young man suicided or disappeared by society. From life in a small town to sex, drugs and rock and roll excess, Ben Myers' Richard slashes and burns its way through the bloated beigeness of the contemporary British novel.' Bookmunch.com

'This is the extraordinary, imagined tale of Richey Edwards' 4* review, Daily Mirror

'Richard is a work of fiction and tells the story of those final few weeks as though it was written by Richey. It's a brilliant book and I loved it.' The Sun

'A work of fiction that bears a convincing ring of truth …This nuanced portrait of Edwards, explores the band's rise, the Richey myth, and the pain that fuelled his alienation anorexia and self-harm' Mojo

'Myers is a sensitive, thoughtful writer . . . His greatest skill is the atmospheric evocation of landscape and place' New Humanist

 

 

 

 

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