The Friendly Ones

Philip Hensher

Reviews of The Friendly Ones

  • ‘This is a profoundly generous and good-hearted book, one that leaves you missing its characters as you would fondly remembered friends. Hensher is one of our most gifted novelists and this is certainly his best novel yetGuardian

    ‘Sometimes today even clearly talented novelists don’t seem interested in trying to show us how people actually think, feel and live. Hensher does all this, and does it with sympathy and intelligence. Years ago he wrote a marvellous novel, The Mulberry Empire. I thought it unlikely he would ever do anything better, but he hasScotsman

    ‘Hensher’s novel is well-observed and often incisive … with sustained concentration and a satirical gaze, he examines the markers of status that underpin the beliefs of so many in this story’ TLS

    ‘Slyly plotted … unlike many a modern novel it is full of interesting characters who do – and say – interesting thingsThe Tablet

    ‘It is Hensher’s superbly subtle awareness of the difficulties in the way of true engagement and true relationships that makes the late flowering, gloriously argumentative friendship in this novel infinitely touching’ Spectator

    Hensher’s 11th novel is his biggest and most ambitious yetMail on Sunday

    ‘At the heart of this kind and profound book, though, is something serious: Hensher’s sense of how deeply the histories that neighbours keep from each other run, how unthinkable are the experiences of violence and betrayal that some people endure, how terribly families are torn asunder by their different allegiances, and how hard it is, in the end, to make peace with that’ Financial Times

    Marvellous Daily Mail

    ‘Beautifully written and intelligent new novel … It’s mesmerisingAttitude

    ‘Majestic … reminiscent of an engrossing yet challenging Victorian classicIndependent