Lucy and Todd

Praise for Mimi

In Reviews of Our Books on February 10, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Mimi is ringing with love and rage and hope. Ellmann’s best sentences are so springy and rhythmic, they make you think of a Slinky coursing down the sweet spot of a staircase, happy as Larry.’ (Susie Boyt, Independent)
‘…even as Mimi gaily batters the reader into submission, she does so with such charm, wit and ingenuity that it’s rarely less than a delight… There’s plenty to take issue with here, but you suspect that Ellmann wouldn’t have it otherwise. And can you think of another novel that includes paeans to quilts, Matisse and homemade jam? Worth celebrating.’ (Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail)
‘A wildly hilarious, modern film noir in fiction form, it’s the sort of novel you love or hate immediately. I loved every minute.’ (Viv Groskop, Sunday Telegraph)
‘A lively, sweet, funny tale of well-off Manhattanites in love … For all its satire and tricksy inter-textuality … this is simply a big happy book about loving women. Now that’s shocking.’ (Melissa Katsoulis, Times)
‘Neurotic, crazy, and fun, with a love story, too.’ (Vogue)
‘Funny, angry, sarcastic and utterly individual, Ellmann has been described as “one of modern literature’s most well-kept secrets”. ‘ (Alison Flood, Observer)
‘This breakneck fable of love and loss has an energy that captivates … A true original, a love story with lashings of horror and a whimsical tour de force. It might leave you exasperated or exhausted but will certainly make you think … Ellmann’s writing is fearless in its experimentation: a whistle-stop tour of the paraphernalia that litters all our minds. Oddments that most of us notice and discard are here burnished into literary devices … Mimi is at its best when Ellmann uses her innovative style and light touch to highlight society’s darkest truths’ (Alice Fishburn, Financial Times)
‘A lively ride … It is tempting to describe Ellmann as a quirky writer, but this book goes deeper. It is bolshy, life-affirming, feminist and energetic. It makes you long to chuck your job, gulp oysters and run naked through the surf. This is all wonderful.’ (Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times)

‘So much of the charm of Ellmann’s eccentric take on the world lies in the common ground it makes with the equally frustrated reader; who among us, after all, hasn’t vainly yearned to love and be loved?’ (Laura Miller, Guardian)

‘Ellmann had me eating out of her hand … 182 pages of chortling, misty-eyed delight … Delicious, delicate confection … Ellmann’s writing is richly imaginative.’ (Charlotte Moore, Spectator)

‘The rich layering of literary and artistic references adds depth to this portrait of shallow lives. In exuberant, exhilarating prose that carries a substantial cargo of humour and wit, this cutting social satire anatomises an era and, by focusing on a man who alters human bodies, offers an X-ray of the curious workings of the mind.’ (Anita Sethi, New Statesman)

‘Like Lucky Jim, Mimi is a comic novel that climaxes in a bravura public address which does not go according to plan … Not many people could write about a cloudless love affair with such aplomb.’ (Suzi Feay, Literary Review)
‘Mimi is the story of a New York plastic surgeon who dreads making public speeches and the woman who knows she can help him overcome his fears. A delightfully playful, upbeat, erotic and meaningful work.’ (Rosemary Goring, the Herald)
‘In what is surely an early contender for 2013’s Book of the Year, Lucy Ellmann once again turns the comic novel into a work of the highest art … Ellmann’s sharp, funny, clever Manhattan tale … If Mimi is about anything, it is about family, sisters and female power, all wrapped up in a fairy tale where every word works magic to show a superlative comic novel embodying tragedy and all the human emotions. It may be Ellmann’s finest novel yet.’ (Lesley McDowell, Herald)
‘Her extraordinary new novel … is, amongst many things, a love letter to New York.’ (Chitra Ramaswamy, Scotsman)
‘A gleefully weird novel full of mischief and meaning.’ (Malcolm Jack, the List)
‘It’s difficult to write objectively or reasonably about Mimi…such is my passion for it.’ (Emma Herdman, The Bookseller)
‘A modern love story that packs a punch. This is the ultimate love story of our age … The antithesis of all the clichéd romances of contemporary novels and films … A feminist text disguised as a page-turning novel … Fans of Caitlin Moran will find the Valentine’s Day chapter in particular a real distillation of feminism for our time, perfectly masquerading as a story that will have you laughing at every other page … Some beautiful and original writing. Mimi doesn’t just set out ideals, it also offers great advice and terrific phrases … Ellmann’s first book in six years is a triumph for feminism, and deserves to become a classic’ (Emma Herdman, Psychologies)
‘With its saucy take on the perpetually perplexing battle of the sexes, Ellmann’s zany, zestful contemporary romantic comedy pulses with sultry steaminess and titillating humor.’ (Booklist)
‘Lucy Ellmann returns with her characteristically zany, high-wire prose, crafting a narrative that is funny, thought-provoking, sexy, sweet, and ultimately hugely satisfying.’ (Barnes & Noble)

‘This must be one of the most enjoyable novels ever. I laughed out loud, I re-read pages, I admired the richness, the playfulness and the touching warmth. Mimi is a rare read – an intelligent romantic comedy, artistic and sophisticated. The novel makes a claim for the most overlooked and undervalued pleasures of life – women’s minds, women’s bodies and most of all women’s company. But it does this with an eloquence and a cheekiness that is a joy to experience. There are only two things now needed to complete the perfection: a literary prize as hefty as its heroine and Mimi – The Movie.’  (Leila Aboulela, Amazon)

‘YES! I’m throwing all my woolly winter berets in the air for Mimi! Only Lucy at her best is able, somehow, to rap on in a manner that binds together Bugs Bunny and Wagner, Haydn and hunchbacks…’ (Barbara Trapido)

‘I am bowled over by Mimi.. Most of all, it is wonderful about love.’ (Susannah Clapp)
‘I am not much on humor — i.e., satirically energized  always talented frontal assaults on social irritants and abuses and the like. I accept the genre but have often thought it narrow for the novel, though as we know, the novel arises in part from it, from social critique, and thus from some of the motives of satire. Anyway I was delighted and even moved by the inventive targets and voice of your book and the language … &  many many moments of curious surprise that are not satirical at all — when H “wanders into the bathroom.” … The fiction of it all is delicious and the first real destruction of Canterbury in literature that I know of.’ (Joseph McElroy)
‘There is a fire in this book but that’s not what makes it incendiary. There are doctors in this book but that’s not what makes it healing. There is a glorious love story at the centre of this novel but that’s not why there should be a copy under every woman’s pillow. There is sex (good!) and violence (bad!) depicted as they should be, but that’s not why men should read this book just before bedtime. This is a roaring beast of a text which prods us and shakes us out of our media-induced TORPOR of fake modernity (or modernist fakery?). It takes us on an emotional adventure of epic proportions and then invites us to take arms against a sea of terrorists…’ (Suzy Romer)

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