Chimera - reviews
Chimera was winner of the McKitterick Prize for first novels in 1989.
"The judges (David Holloway, Bernard Bergonzi, and Christopher Hope) were completely and immediately unanimous in choosing Chimera as the first winner of the McKitterick prize. Here, they were certain, was a first novel that showed a mature talent and the promise of even better work to come.
"...the characters... were memorably drawn... the judges were
particularly impressed by the way Mr Mawer could describe set pieces,
like big military parades, clandestine operations and fashionable
parties, with as much skill as he could personal relationships. All
in all, a notable achievement."
From The Listener:
"...as the story unfolds, so tensions mount and the correspondences
between present, recent past and distant past become terrifyingly
clear until past and present merge in a tragic climax. Chimera is
a powerful, densely written first novel in which history, archeology
and mythology combine as instruments to spin the web of a complex
story. Simon Mawer has a fine feeling for the influence of climate,
landscape and history over character... Chimera is a rich, rewarding
read by a writer burgeoning with ideas."
From the Times Literary Supplement:
"...Chimera reads as true, imaginative and close to the senses,
and what most strikes the reader is the impressive solidity, the way
all the themes run together and are made operative... the richness
comes from our sense of how things are connected, and echo one another,
throughout the verbal fabric of the novel... The strength of the novel
is such that there is much to which one cannot even allude."
From Good Housekeeping:
"From the opening pages of Chimera... the book continues to
grip the reader..."
From the Daily Telegraph:
"There is a pleasantly scholastic brutality to the storytelling..."