"In Pilcrow we followed our narrator John Cromer from early infancy and the crippling onset of Still's disease through various formative experiences, some intellectual, some gastronomic and some sexual, and came to admire his courageous tenacity.... On what grounds can you reproach or disbelieve such a storyteller? You cannot mug a boy in a wheelchair."— Margaret Drabble, The Gaurdian
"We are also taken through pages of painful surgery to adapt John's body for the adapted Mini, to create the functional Adlerian synthesis. Mars-Jones puts us through a great deal of pain, and at times one must wonder if there is a gratuitous or sadistic pleasure in inflicting it upon us. But somehow the question seems presumptuous. John had to put up with it, and so must we."
" a gripping and perilous scene on a sacred Indian mountain featuring a holy cow. In literary terms, it is impossible for this scene to succeed, particularly for a reader uninterested in Hindu thought and the concept of the Dark Age of the 432,000 years of the Kali Yuga, in which, apparently, we live. It cannot work, but it does. I give up."That much was clear from the start. a gripping and perilous scene on a sacred Indian mountain featuring a holy cow". That pit of possible turgidity safely sidestepped, we now read, in the very same week's book section, of a second novel from Carol Topolski. To recap, for those unfamiliar with The Grim Topolski's work:—