—The New Yorker
A spectacular first novel: fascinating.
—Stephen Schiff, *The New Yorker *
The Comforters is fascinating: its heroine Caroline Rose, is a recently converted Catholic who finds herself hallucinating voices—voices that indicate to her that she has become a character in a novel. And of course she has—the very novel we are reading.
—Ali Smith, The Guardian
It is all held so lightly, so playfully. But this paralleling of cheap smuggling mystery and Roman Catholic mystery, this mischievous, merry challenge to British literary realism, this blatant parody of contemporary cold-war surveillance plotting and paranoia, becomes a life-and-death struggle in the end. That this light, clever, mirthful tour de force was a first novel is astounding. It still knocks the stuffing out of the realist tradition, and probably always will.
—The Sunday Times (London)
This novelist skillfully preserves the mystery of fiction while purporting to lay out its bare bones. So dazzling is Spark’s technique that you can no more separate her devices from her desires than, as Caroline says, ‘try to distinguish between the sea and the water in it.’