Press & Reviews

To read what The Bookseller said about Marion Boyars in an article about literature in translation click here


Carina Burman

****'Burman's extraordinary feeling for history and eccentric wit make for a most unusual kind of crime caper.' Independent on Sunday

'As far as escapism goes, this is as good as it gets: at times I felt as if I was actually in the book. Sarah Death does a brilliant job of translating from the Swedish. If I hadn’t been told, I would never have guessed this was a work in translation. For a heavy dose of scandal, intrigue, thrills and the odd message in a bottle, I highly recommend The Streets of Babylon.' Vulpes Libris

Rhyll McMaster

'Rhyll McMaster's debut novel is simultaneously a portrait of an artist, an examination of the emotional alchemy from which art is born and a coming-of-age tale... The juxtaposition of mystery and harsh grit lends the book a compelling friction.' Helen Oyeyemi, New Statesman

Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff

'Marion Boyars is, by all accounts, one of the UK's more free-thinking publishers; and a book like this, an investigation of the book blog phenomenon, certainly benefits from coming out of that kind of environment. Kilgarriff is publisher at Marion Boyars; Gillieron is senior editor. There aren't too many publishers, for example, who'll admit: "We never really know if we are making the right choices." On the other hand, this book is described as a celebration: "We didn't want the existence of some of the first book bloggers to come and go without record." The best bloggers, according to Kilgarriff, are the ones who have no motive other than to share their love of books with other readers. The ones who end up getting mentioned are certainly worth tracking down, especially if all their posts are as lucid as the one by Dovegreyreader that gets quoted. Unless you're a blog fanatic, this book is bound to contain something you didn't know about – some oddball site capable of yielding the kind of gem that'll make you think just as carefully as anything you'll find in print.' Tom Boncza-Tomaszewski, Independent On Sunday

by Rhidian Brook

‘Anyone who listens to the Today programme will probably know that last year Rhidian Brook continued broadcasting Thought For The Day live at 7:45am from wherever he happened to be in the world ...We heard him, we were passingly intrigued, we had vaguely taken in that he was doing something worthy, but most of us didn’t have time to register quite what it was. Now he is back, and he is telling us. He has been taught to see the world with new eyes – and he suggests tactfully but with a sense of underlying passion, that we should too…He has taken our Western preconceptions and allowed them to be broken down and reformed and I could identify with the new understanding he himself found…People are learning to cope with a dreadful disease that is ravaging families, communities and whole societies and they are doing it by learning to be open, supportive and loving. This is not a story about despair, but about ‘how to live a life’. – Anne Atkins, Mail on Sunday

'"HIV/ Aids has enough experts," the Salvation Army told BBC journalist Brook as it sent him on this task. "We just want someone to go and see and find the stories." . . . and tell them he does, with a light, deft touch. Without a trace of mawkishness or sentimentality, Brook sets it out straight with heartbreaking simplicity.' – Independent

ENLIGHTENMENT by Maureen Freely

‘That rare pleasure, a book that grips on every level, a bold and beautiful novel about history, memory and love.’ Nicci French

'A dark Conradian drama, set in a beautifully illuminated Istanbul, where the past is always with us' Orhan Pamuk

'This is a brave novel...Enlightenment is both a gripping novel and a powerful fictional version of the argument that Turkey does not yet subscribe to the levels of democracy and human rights required if EU membership is to mean more than a passport to economic improvement' The Independent '

''What ensues is a cautionary tale about the dangers of meddling in the affairs of a culture beyond one's comprehension. The country described here in fine detail will be immediately recognisable to readers of Orhan Pamuk, whose books Freely has translated.' The Observer

'Byzantine in structure, mischievous in intent, it is as concerned with the garbled and provisional nature of truth as with the minutiae of repression' TLS

'breathless, eye-opening energy' The Sunday Times

CHOCOLATE AND ZUCCHINI by Clotilde Dusoulier

"Dusoulier lives in Monmatre, and Chocolate and Zucchini is an evocative account of how she shops, cooks, eats and entertains. People respond to her humour, her love of food and an idyllic Parisian lifestyle" Metro Life

"Part recipe box, part travel guide, part blissful musings on life, this blog will transport you instantly to France" Marie Claire

"Readers of Dusoulier's ebullient food blog won't be disappointed by this wonderful melange of new creations and old favorites... Dusoulier's charm lies in her culinary curiosity and enthusiasm" Publishers Weekly

“Eat my words, the world’s best food blog” The Observer Food Monthly

“Not some wronger-than-wrong fusion cooking site, but a blog (in English) built around the twin culinary passions of its 27-year-old Parisian writer, Clotilde Dusoulier: fresh, healthy eating and, well, the magical dark stuff. It is real escapist, drool-on-your-keyboard stuff as Dusoulier drifts around Paris on a waft of sugar-scented air, stumbling across delicious delicacies.” The Guardian

“You can just see Audrey Tautou playing her in the movie as she traipses all over Paris, finding the bakery supply store that her grandmother shopped at, eating out, cooking and writing down recipes and shopping tips along with insights into French life.” Los Angeles Times


"Perfectly representing the post-feminist, socially active crafting movement in the U.S. and U.K., Spencer's fun, accessible volume is a nifty introduction to newly hip crafts... The vibe is young and hip...a perfect library addition for any crafty Generation X or Yer." Publishers Weekly

STOLEN TIME by Vangelis Hatziyannidis

'Hatziyannidis' compelling narrative and Nana Vetti's allusive illustrations tease and seduce the reader with an engaging mystery caper that echoes with magical and metaphysical significance.' The Independent


'Parsipur makes a stylishly original contribution to modern feminist literature.' Publishers Weekly

'Like Parsipur herself, her protagonists are women whose rebellions are not merely political but existential, against a system that denies them individual dignity and stunts their potential for growth.' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

THE GAZE by Elif Shafak

'Elif Shafak's The Gaze, about a romance between a huge woman and a dwarf, plays with ideas of beauty and ugliness like they're Rubik's cubes.' Helen Oyeyemi, author of The Icarus Girl

The Gaze is an effective, often painful rumination on the appearance and the reality of dreams.’ The Telegraph, 27 May 2006

‘Shafak probes the many ironies of appearance and perception with entertaining and affecting results.’ Publishers’ Weekly 19 June 2006

‘Shafak is more than a worthy heir to Isabel Allende’s brand of magical realism. A quiet intelligence underpins the novel’s flamboyant surrealism.’ The Independent, 30 June 2006

‘The author is the hottest young writer in Turkey, and the background of her strange novel is beautifully evoked, but her preoccupations are universal. Human beings long to look, to stare, to gaze at anything that makes them curious. Sometimes, the pitiless gazes of others can flay like knives. A fat woman and a dwarf become lovers, drawn together by their status as freaks. Their story is interwoven with the story of a freak show in 1880s Istanbul. Shafak enters the isolation of those unfortunate enough to be different.’ The Times, JULY 8 2006

‘A richly layered narrative concerning misfits and how society views them…a strange, hallucinatory work.’ Kirkus Reviews, 15 July 2006

‘Shafak’s orignal and compelling book has perception as its overarching theme. Like time itself, Shafak suggests, seeing and looking are circular, referential forms, with the constant movement of a glance returning again and again to its subject, unstoppable and penetrating.’ TLS 21 July 2006


'György Dalos's novel is lucidly translated from the Hungarian with helpful footnotes on Yiddish words and Jewish customs.Fast, funny and only a little flip' The Guardian


'The hard lessons of calculus and Euclid are here, yet this is a far cry from the average school text book. It is eloquently written, cajoling the reader along by affording him constant digressions.' The Telegraph

'Mathematics Minus Fear succeeds very well in its intention: to do for numbers what Lynne Truss's Eats Shoots And Leaves did for punctuation.' TES

FOUR WALLS by Vangelis Hatziyannidis

'Vangelis Hatziyannidis' first novel delightfully blends the serious...themes of imprisonment and solitude with humour, humility, horribly violent deaths, coincidences and miracles – all of which add up to a witty fable, satisfyingly replete with the essential ingredients of magical realism.' The Guardian


'Feisty and learned: first rate reading for any American who suspects that Fox News may not be telling the whole story.' Kirkus Reviews, 2 May 2005

'passionate, frustrated, sarcastic and sometimes hopeful offers quick takes on events ...from a perspective too often overlooked, ignored or surpressed.' Publishers Weekly, 7 February 2005

'a cross between an underground manifesto and a polished cultural history... With its blend of first-person mouthing off and spirited documentary style, Baghdad Burning offers fair and balanced coverage from inside one of the most rapidly changing - and poorly understood - regions in the world.' Time Out New York, 28 April 2005

'Highly recommended to anyone following the conflict' Library Journal (starred review), 1 April 2005

THE FLEA PALACE by Elif Shafak

'Once foundations are laid, this novel takes off into a hyper-active, hilarious trip (vividly translated by Muge Gocek), with farce, passion, mystery and many sidelights on Turkey's past. A cast of wacky flat-dwellers lend it punch and pizazz, from Ethel the ageing Jewish diva (a wonderful creation) to Gaba, the finest fictional dog in years.' The Independent, 17 June 2005

'…you do need to take special notice of this multi-populated, enchanting work set in delapidated flats dominated by an over-powering stench. It is wonderful...The palace is a block of 10 flats, and this traces its history and the lives of the residents, covering a lot of ground in a fascinating text that really impressed me. It is going to sell.' Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller 22 April 2005

'Every now and again an absolute gem of a novel arrives and is tragically ignored by all and sundry. The Flea Palace is one such book. I rate it as highly as The Shadow of the Wind and am on a personal crusade to encourage as many people as possible to read it this year.' Scott Pack, Waterstone's

'Ms Shafak is well set to challenge Mr Pamuk as Turkey's foremost contemporary novelist.' The Economist


'Reyes's mischievous and often delightful essays talk of wanting to rescue eroticism and fantasy in a modern world morbidly fixated on sex.' The Guardian

'In this short, beautiful meditation on love and romance, sex and desire, Reyes challenges the puritan pudeur and feminist froideur of inquisitorial British female journalists' The Times

JUNGLE RUDY by Jan Brokken

'With more than a whiff of Conrad and Greene, his story follows Rudy from idealistic adventurer to the pistol-toting misanthrope who was heard to scream "I am the dictator of Ucaima!" at visiting tax inspectors. The book is being filmed; with its unreachable hero and readymade soundtrack, it's easy to see why' The Guardian

DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture by Amy Spencer

'Amy Spencer's wide-ranging…account of why "home-made" publications and musical recordings have become so popular since the 1990s…provides an accurate historical perspective on phenomena like zines and the fortunes of indie record labels, giving space to some remarkable innovators, and addresses the ethical issues thrown up by their main channel of distribution, the internet.' The Independent

'Spencer subverts the high-gloss media culture with her do-it-yourself guide for anarchistic amateurs of music and literature who just wanna have fun.' The Times


'This excellent novel is set among Manhattan's druggy, promiscuous, starving artists… Bleakly humorous, it's a bitter parable, a savage indictment of the art world' UNCUT


'By turns humorous, sad, disturbing and painful, it is related in a satirical politically incorrect manner as fiction… An important book, I believe.' The Bookseller


'…her vignettes of ordinary life offer an insight into modern China' The Guardian

'a politically and sexually sensitive tale set against the controversy of the Three Gorges Dam Project on the Yangtze River, by the author of K: The Art of Love.' The Bookseller


'Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein is the antidote to the are-we-nearly-there? car journeys and airport purgatory. Compiled over 20 years and finished just before Silverstein died, these wonderfully playful rhymes…draw the reader in to Silverstein’s comic embrace and demand endless re-readings. Will enthuse and confuse four- to ten-year-olds – and eventually drive their parents minking blad.' Sunday Telegraph


'If history hadn't got in the way, Witold Gombrowicz's madcap Bildungsroman might have become the must-read for pubescent existentialists across Europe... Ferdydurke is a fantastically imagined set-piece of modernism' The Guardian