20 comments on “Lanny by Max Porter | Book Review

  1. The LRB review of this put me off (even though it was positive!) AND I didn’t get on with Grief Is The Thing With Feathers, but it’s had such good blog reviews…

    • Grief is the kind of book I appreciated more than enjoyed, but Lanny had a stronger sense of narrative, which meant it worked better for me. That said, I can totally see that Porter’s style isn’t for everyone.

      I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts if you ever decide to give it a go!

  2. Hmm do you think I’d like this?? I read the first few pages and I wasn’t convinced, and I didn’t adore Grief… but all the rave reviews are tempting me!

    • It’s hard to say! I know I gave this a positive rating and review, but I’m still not sure who I’d actually recommend it to 🤔 I preferred this to Grief, because there was a more solid narrative grounding. That said, it’s still a book that veers firmly into the territory of ‘I appreciated this’ more than ‘I enjoyed this’. And there’s quite a bit of the dreaded magical realism, lol.

      As a reading experience, I’m glad to have picked it up, but it certainly won’t stay with me as a favourite of the year. Stylistically, it’s what you’d expect from Porter, so if you’re on the fence, I wouldn’t rush out to get the hardback!

  3. Great review! I loved this one. I thought it would be more disjointed and so was pleasantly surprised when it did indeed have a narrative. And the climax was so intense and emotional!

  4. I spent so many years reading experimental works in my two graduate programs that I’m almost afraid to give any more a go. If I did read this book, it would be for that mysterious creature, Dead Papa Toothworth. It sounds like the Babadook!

  5. It’s very much the sort of thing that I read for the experience (although oddly the plot in the second half, particularly in its sudden nightmarish speed, felt like it was waving at the current crop of domestic noir – I’m still in two minds as to whether this was sarcastic and intentional, or earnest and intentional). Grief Is the Thing… worked better for me because there was a greater sense of purpose to the story Porter was telling; Lanny feels a little slight because I’m not sure what his point is (that weird little kids usually turn out fine? Fair as far as it goes, but hardly the excoriating journey into bereavement that his debut led us on.)

    • That’s very true! Though this one has a stronger narrative drive, it does have less thematic purpose and impact than Grief. It’ll be interesting to see what Porter does next!

  6. Pingback: June Wrap Up | Callum McLaughlin

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