An absurdist comedy of the American workplace and the indignities faced by employees in today's turbo-capitalism, a quietly seething feminist critique of pornography and the commodification of women, and a category-defying fable about the meaninglessness of success.
—David Annand, The Telegraph
Dewitt maintains a strong, clear, narrative voice throughout, pitch-perfectly parodying management speak, corporate culture and self-help bibles.
A razor-sharp comic masterpiece.
—The Financial Times
A tightly disciplined and extremely funny satire on office politics, sexual politics, American politics, and the art of positive thinking.
[Helen DeWitt] tunes into the contemporary American idiom and its corporate-speak with perfect pitch.
This is excellent: cold and crazy...The jokes are like hammers.
—The New Yorker
DeWitt is a brutal humorist...uproariously funny.
—The Wall Street Journal
Lightning Rods is an exercise in novel as extrapolation. It’s an appealingly practical way to think about writing fiction, and one that ignores any distinction between realism and fantasy.
—The New York Observer
The basic premise for Lightning Rods is so audacious that it might be hard to get past its general conceit, but its true brilliance lies in DeWitt’s careful deployment of language so common that we no longer see it. As any million-dollar litigation lawyer or two-cent literary critic will tell you, the devil is in the details.
—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times Book Review
It so emphatically aces the tasks it sets for itself, and delivers such a jolt of pleasure along the way, that it reminds me of just how major a minor work can be... At any rate, as one of her endearingly flummoxed characters might say, I literally cannot wait to see what she does next.
—Garth Risk Hallberg, The Millions
DeWitt’s wickedly smart satire deserves to be a classic.
Helen DeWitt shocks the reader with her intelligence. Lightning Rods, an exploration of the collective Id, is as lucid, methodical, and elegantly argued as a mathematical proof. It is also unremittingly filthy. DeWitt begins with a premise and goes on to think everything thinkable about it. A weird, generous, hilarious marvel.
—Teju Cole, Open City
In Lightning Rods, the nonpareil Helen DeWitt has written a hilarious and pretty near perfect novel about…well, about selling and sex and the sound of the stories we tell ourselves, and of the stories we tell ourselves about the stories we tell ourselves, and of the stories we sell to others to help them have another story to sell to themselves, and about…did I mention sex? Lightning Rods is a strange and ingenious and happy-about-the-state-literature-making book.
—Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances