Foulds, Adam. In the Wolf's Mouth
LJ Reviews 2014 January #1
Foulds's novel The Quickening Maze won the European Union Prize for Literature and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize; his full-length poetry work, The Broken Word, was a Costa and a Somerset Maugham Award winner; and Julian Barnes called him "one of the best British writers to emerge in the last decade." All of which recommends his latest novel, set during World II as the Allies chase the Germans north from Africa to Italy. At the heart of the narrative are Will Walker, an ambitious English field security officer, and the greener Italian American infantryman Ray Marfione. We get an eyeful of organized crime in Sicily, too.[Page 70]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2014 June #2
One of Britain's most acclaimed young writers, Foulds (The Quickening Maze) has a penchant for historical fiction, lyrical prose, and the complexity of memory. Here, he weaves all three themes into a meditation on the intricacies of war. Setting his work in Sicily and North Africa during the end of World War II, the author uses multiple characters to give the reader a full picture of the perplexing questions that war raises. While a British officer tries to instill law and order through logic, an American soldier struggles to process the atrocities committed by the Allied forces. Meanwhile, an Italian shepherd finds blood feuds renewed as an expatriated mafioso returns to Sicily to claim his territory. Each character wanders through the ravaged landscape, negotiating the concept of liberation with an unavoidable feeling of loss. VERDICT As in his first novel, The Truth About These Things, the author explores the inescapable aspects of memory, binding cultures and generations together with the necessity of forgetting and forgiving. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/13.]—Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH[Page 85]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2014 April #1
Combining careful, considered prose with horrific realism, the latest from Foulds (Man Booker finalist for The Quickening Maze) expertly renders the Allied campaigns in Italy and North Africa during WWII through the experiences of a handful of bluntly human characters. Ciro Albanese, a well-connected criminal, fled Italy just before the Fascists took over 20 years ago. He returns as a guide for the liberators, his illicit skills only sharpened during his time away. Will Walker joined the English Field Security Service with grand designs. He's convinced he could change the world for the better, if only his superiors would listen to him. Ray Marfione, an infantryman from New York, finds community in his squadron, but even the tightest bonds seem fragile against the war's terrifying violence. Each of these characters is desperate in his own way, and Foulds follows them across rough, beautiful terrain, as the war, indifferent to their intentions, determines their fates. By the end, which features some difficult, realistic, and earned resolutions, readers will be amazed at this deeply felt, vivid novel. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC