Praise for The Warlow Experiment

‘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

‘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

‘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

Social dominance, and the violent means used to maintain it, unites the various storylines in The Warlow Experiment. . . .  Warlow’s plight 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 floorboards.  Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal