A wonderful, intelligent and enriching novel. Gale draws his protagonist with compassion and empathy, and the book is populated by some terrific supporting characters, such as former star cellist Naomi, who had to give up performing because of stage fright and becomes a surrogate sibling in Eustace's life. Ultimately, it is a forceful reminder of the emotional power of music. As Eustace is told by his teacher at summer school: "Music knits. It heals. It is balm to the soul." The same could be said for this book
Gale is an enticing and quietly subversive storyteller . . . its depictions of strangeness and toxicity of under-the-surface conventions of middle-class life take it into darker and more surprising territory. In elegant, restrained prose, Gale writes with an eye on impermanence, showing how loss can be tinged with hope, and new beginnings with the threat of mortality. . . he taps into a range of experiences and emotions that are both specific and beautifully universal
Gale is excellent on the hot, messy nature of self-discovery and sexual awakening
Beguiling, vivid, wise and moving
Beautifully told with understated glee and humanity, this novel raises smiles and shocked tears
This coming-of-age story is gorgeously written, full of warmth and humour
As elegiac and contemplative as one might expect . . .suffused with the joy and wisdom of Gale's mid-life reconnection with music
This is what imbues his work with such heart and authenticity, and what makes Take Nothing With You, so readable, so believable, so . . . lovable. You'll be carried along by the music of Gale's prose, his charm, wit and warmth, and his empathy for us, for what it means to be human and other
This is an emotionally charged and humane tale beautifully conveying a child's partial view of the world
There is a natural warmth to Gale's writing
A lovely and lyrical coming-of-age tale
Patrick Gale's moving novel is a trag-comic tale of love, loss and acceptance
This warm and humane novel is not only about love but also the value of art
Gale's novel is generously optimistic. It shows how our past shapes us, but suggests that we can make something from the emotional burdens that we bear
Funny and heartfelt
Safe in the arms of Patrick Gale's BEAUTIFUL writing again - I could weep with joy.
Sexy, joyous, funny and tender. I relished it
Joyous and full of light. I only meant to read a chapter and I greedily gobbled down the whole lot in one go. He is a beautiful and empathetic writer.
A compelling story of how a passion for music can be the gateway to self-discovery, and lead a young teenager to find his tribe. The storytelling is so vivid, you can actually hear the music, and the intense fusion of artistic and erotic exploration will stir up memories for quite a few readers.
A fascinating story, gripping, moving and exquisitely written, this is a wonderful gift of a book from one of the best writers working today.
Very well done indeed - brilliantly sustained
Absolutely one of his complete best. So many funny and tender and terrific scenes. He hovers between social comedy and apocalyptic tragedy without the move appearing artificial or contrived. Just a wonderful, wonderful read
A tender and touching coming of age story from the always eminently readable Patrick Gale
Patrick Gale has created such a wonderful character, I was bereft to leave him
A compassionate and funny coming-of-age and coming-out novel. If you haven't read Gale before, start now
A beautiful novel about longing, growth, music and family