The best book I've read for a long time. Truly innovative, truly original, and a powerful poetic journey to another truth. Ros Barber has told a great story, in a fascinating way, so fascinating that she had someone like me gripped to the very end. This really is a joy to read and a true work of art.
This rich and charmingly playful work avoids the potential for whimsy inherent in such an undertaking. The thrill at reimagining the events and era comes through wave after wave in Barber's blank verse.
This is effortlessly better stuff than many far more trumpeted poets can produce, even on a good day...The Marlowe Papers is the best read, so far, this year.
This terrifically accomplished and enjoyable novel/play/poem, call it what you like, restores one's faith in English fiction.
Barber ingeniously weaves the action of the plays and sonnets into her story...The verse is subtle and varied enough never to disturb the ear, and in fact you forget that you're reading poetry at all. This is no bawdy cod-Shakespearean romp.
'A rare find indeed - searing poetry meets compelling narrative in a historical tour de force that had me ripping through the pages.'
now that I've reached the end I want to go back and read it all again...Written in Marlowe's voice the reader doesn't need to know his work or that of Shakespeare to enjoy the book and relish the accomplishment of the author...The proof copy I read is already battered with rereading. I will be buying myself a hardback copy when it comes out. Don't buy it on an e-reader, buy a proper copy and hold it lovingly as you read.
The Marlowe Papers grips.
this highly ambitious debut makes for an engrossing read...brought to life by smatterings of exquisitely poetic descriptions and turns of phrase worthy of the Bard himself, whoever he was.
Themes of identity and self-esteem, of truth and loyalty, give substance to Barber's enthralling plot in a work that combines historical erudition with a sharply satisfying read. Marlowe's passion infects the page; Barber's skill draws the fever.
Lush, inspired and provocative, this spellbinding dossier conjures up a bewitching Marlowe.