A brilliant, bold and unforgettable debut. Freeman transports us to a history we'd never have imagined and makes it viscerally real.
This truly bears comparison with Michel Faber's THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE as first-time author Freeman (a performance poet who has appeared at Latitude and Glastonbury) brings the 18th century to throbbing life, in an immersive novel rich with extraordinary characters and a cracking plot.
(A) cracking debut... It is a lively, rambunctious read which captures Bristol street life brilliantly and niftily sets the scene for a memorable collection of characters who are prepared to gamble everything to gain hope and some form of happiness.
For lovers of the evocative historical romps of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber this is a visceral and funny debut.
The Fair Fight is a hugely exciting and entertaining novel, written with warmth, charm, authority and, above all, terrific flair. I loved it.
Anna Freeman's familiarity with this rough and raunchy period of history and her wonderfully imagined cast of characters, often down but never out, makes this a brilliant debut novel.
(Anna's) enthusiasm for the subject matter and her skill at creating powerful narrative voices are in strong evidence in this gritty, vividly evoked historical novel. Fans of Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue, take note.
This storming debut is fiction at its most absorbing. It'll be first in line for Freeman's next offering.
Passion and pugilism ...(an) original, memorable debut novel.
An accomplished first novel that reminded me somewhat of Peter Carey's Jack Maggs.
lively and original
this highly enjoyable read that packs a punch.
Freeman's first novel is shocking but a cracker. The writing is good and the characters totally believable. I loved it.
The Fair Fight is, I think, just about the most well-written novel I have read in five years. The depiction of the situation and characters is very clearly done with great economy of effort. Even the title is clever. ..this is an excellent read, and one that will stay with you for a long time.
'[The] novel, though written in a fashion long past, feels quite natural and free. She [Anna Freeman] has taken the late 18th century, language and all, and pummelled life into it. THE FAIR FIGHT breathes, shouts and swears, confident in its form and bold as brass in its execution. If Anna Freeman ever puts up her fives and takes to milling, I'll not volunteer as an opponent.'