John Self

John Self is a book critic and lead fiction reviewer for The Critic. He lives in Belfast. @John_Self

In this month’s fiction selection, John Self discovers novels that successfully use their style to enhance rather than simply describe the story

John Self on debut novels that provide an insight into publishing in Britain

A trio of novels that are connected by their surprising manner of finding their way to us

We need a system where books that publishers really love, where it’s not mere puff, get a special sticker on the front, says John Self

John Self says that while writing has always been seen as a vocation, the characters many authors care most about are the ones printed on their royalty statements

Fiction works on the understanding that none of it really happened; we agree to believe it anyway, says John Self

Put down the pandemic novels: Here’s my favourite fiction of 2020

What we have is pure storytelling delight, a page-turner that works forwards and backwards as the reader fills in the gaps

Contrasting works from a veteran master of invention and two newer faces who blur fact and fiction

If Martin Amis isn’t entertaining you on every page, then what’s the point of him?