Sitting Up Straight

The Times on John Lanchester’s new novel, Fragrant Harbour.

“Lanchester, 40, is something of a master ventriloquist. In his first book, The Debt To Pleasure (1996), which won the Whitbread First Novel award, the narrator Tarquin (real name Rodney) is a camp, evasive, snobbish food critic. Then there was the sad, pathetic yet brave and libidinous Mr Phillips. Both earned him so much critical acclaim he wonders now when the critics and readers will “turn”. Probably not for a while… In Fragrant Harbour, Lanchester’s latest, to date well-receieved novel, a quartet of interwoven characters illuminate the immense changes Hong Kong has seen from 1930 to the present day.”

Related: excerpt from Mr Phillips, Mr Phillips on Amazon UK.