Praise for The Warlow Experiment

‘This surreal year’s most pertinent novel is also its strangest, with bountiful implications for life during  – and after –  COVID-19. … what glued me to it is the striking manner in which Powyss’s experiment on Warlow mirrors God or the universe’s experiment – through COVID-19 – on humanity.’  Michael Shammas, The Good Men Project

‘I read Alix Nathan’s beautifully constructed new novel about an experiment most strange at great speed: its sentences, imagery and import call you onward and ever deeper.  More than once since I finished I’ve looked down and wondered what might be going on just a few feet below or above me.  The Warlow Experiment gets into your head.’ Laird Hunt

‘This original and gripping debut builds to a satisfying and fittingly macabre climax.’ Antonia Senior, The Times

‘Rich period detail and grippingly peopled subplots add engrossing depth to this compelling tale of a ruinously backfiring experiment.’  Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

‘Original and beautifully written, this is a meaty and gripping novel of obsession gone sour.’  Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

‘Smart and darkly entertaining.’ Jeffrey Burke, Mail on Sunday

‘Thomas Paine’s revolutionary Rights of Man is in the air, underlining the many philosophical questions at the novel’s heart.  What right does one man have over another? What price is freedom?  Can one ‘argue right from wrong principles’?  This core lies beneath a richly detailed surface . . . The author’s skill immerses the reader in place, time and contemporary ways of thinking and reasoning as the threat posed by the ill-judged experiment looms ever larger.’  Emily Rhodes, Country Life

‘Nathan’s powerful, imaginative novel . . . It is [her] scrupulous objectivity that enables the complexity of her characters to emerge . . . For all the grim logic of its horrifying finale, what distinguishes The Warlow Experiment above all is how Nathan … treats her subjects with unfailing dignity and compassion.’  Paul Binding, Literary Review

‘Warlow is a victim, outclassed in every respect by Powyss, and yet they mirror each other and partially become each other’s double. Nathan’s delicacy of touch makes this development . . . both shocking and convincing . . . it is a woman who shows sympathy for Warlow . . . Another woman derails Powyss . . . The complications that ensue take us into the deep heart of blunted male emotion . . . this impressive novel.’  Norma Clarke, Times Literary Supplement

‘Nathan is a lyrical writer, and a brutal and powerful one. The Warlow Experiment is the dark side of the manor house, a microcosmic exploration of a system where one person, by accident of birth, controls the fate of many.’ Vikki Valentine, NPR

‘In a novel premised on stagnation, the incremental but inevitable deterioration of both major characters becomes an unexpectedly gripping drama, fueled by the attraction of repulsion . . . [A] unique and chilling novel.’ John Vernon, The New York Times Book Review

‘Warlow’s plight itself is indelible, both pungent and horrifying in its details and profound as a metaphor   – a symbol of upper-class barbarity stashed away in the cellar like a telltale heart beating beneath the floor boards.’  Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

‘ . . . rich and vivid prose to match the strange and surprisingly heartbreaking tale.  There are many different ways to be alone; what this book does so beautifully is juxtapose some of those ways against one another, forcing the reader to deal with some rather unexpected empathetic complexity . . . The Warlow Experiment is captivating, capturing the spine and spirit of a particular place and time.’  Allen Adams, The Main Edge – Buzz

‘A tale of self-delusion and obsession, Nathan’s naturally captivating prose draws us into a prism that is both delectable and terrifying.  In unlocking her vault of unique talent, she has crafted a compelling work of literature that you’ll never forget.’  Sophie Grenham, Irish Times, The Gloss Magazine

‘ . . . a riveting and convincing read thanks to Nathan’s elegant, multi-faceted handling of her characters.  These are complex, heartbreakingly believable people . . . a timeless story of human self-delusion.’  Jenny White, The Western Mail

‘Powyss’ world is richly and memorably drawn. . . . Nathan is a perceptive, elegant writer.’  Lucy Scholes, Financial Times

‘This unusual historical novel will reward readers with the ripe inquiry it makes of a peculiar subject.’  Bethanne Patrick,The Washington Post

An allegory of prison culture at its cruelest . . .[The Warlow Experiment] is a powerful rebuke to the notion that withholding compassion can somehow be corrective.’ Kirkus Reviews