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."
David Holloway, judge for the McKitterick Prize.


From The Listener:

" 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."
Eva Tucker


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."
Mark Casserley


From Good Housekeeping:

"From the opening pages of Chimera... the book continues to grip the reader..."
Susan Hill


From the Daily Telegraph:

"There is a pleasantly scholastic brutality to the storytelling..."
Patrick Gale






Simon Mawer 2008 - 2018. This website is written and maintained by the author.