A work of literary art, a mellow, beautifully constructed fable about the human hunger for goodness, it is by far the best thing Cartwright has done . . . [He] has caught to perfection the perplexities of a good man struggling for self-awareness'
Brilliant, dazzling, unsettling; subtle and haunting; complex and multi-layered; deeply moving
One of the finest novelists currently at work ... An altogether stunning achievement
Hauntingly brilliant ... It is the best novel I have read this year.
Apart from being a profoundly serious writer, Cartwright can also be an abrasively amusing one. Scarcely a page of this book fails to yield some pleasure. WHITE LIGHTNING is a book of substantial merit.
Beguiling. With this novel, Cartwright, a former Whitbread Award winner has put it all together - style, story, theme - to produce something exceptional.
Subtle and moving...Cartwright weaves the story of the man and the baboon with a magicians's delicacy...White Lightning underlines the intelligence and breadth of imagination that this former Whitbread Novel of the Year winner brings to every single paragraph of his work.
Justin Cartwright's new novel may well be his finest - in an already accomplished oeuvre. Wry, achingly true and profound without being sententious, it's a moving and bleakly funny look at life's hellish demands and occasional moments of happiness.
Cartwright is a wise and perceptive novelist, keen to probe the dark places of the human heart and the complexities of post-colonial Africa, and possessed of a laudable ability to capture life as it rushes past at terrible speed.
This is a moving story of a man totally alone, and a powerful evocation of a country yet to come to terms with its tragedy-strewn destiny.
Cartwright is a beautifully evocative writer; also one who makes you think... The rhythm is perfect, and almost every page offers such delights.
No amount of irony or humour can blunt the remorseless message contained in this tender, terrible tragedy.
Cartwright's portrayal of the relationship between the man and the baboon is masterly. You know it is going to end in tears - WHITE LIGHTNING is, above all else, a book of echoes - but still the ending packs a punch of frustration and sadness.
Cartwright is a hugely skilled writer and his novels are always interesting. [He] can produce passages of uncommon beauty.
Cartwright is a brilliant observer and writes extremely well. [He] has produced an X-ray of modern man's soul.
Cartwright manages to combine the thrilling readability of genre fiction with the unpredictability and strangeness of a literary master. It's astonishing that he still isn't spoken of in the same breath as Amis and McEwen: he ought to be.
This questioning, elegiac novel is much more than just another portrayal of mid-life crisis. It deserves a place beside those accounts of Africa, from Conrad to Naipaul, which encapsulate an outsider's sense of this world as both alluring and forbidding, and always only half-understood.
This is fictional skill of the highest order.