John Self

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

His disturbing debut, The Wasp Factory, is being reissued this year

Every literary season has a book that comes from nowhere and seems to gallop ahead of the competition

We’re a long way from touchstones One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera

Some novels still dare to leave the reader’s hand unheld — without universal success

All novels should be like this: stripped of the necessary but boring connective tissue

It’s time for our annual guide to the best new fiction of the year

Italo Calvino’s imagination spanned the cosmos but his concerns were very human

Spend time inside the mind of your most eccentric, sometimes maddening friend

A bit of lucky timing cannot be begrudged

Novels that say a lot without making lots of noise