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United Kingdom Press Response to "by George"

"(Stace) has a startling imaginative talent and an anarchic sense of humour, but, crucially, he has an ability to bind good ideas to an absorbing plot... It is an achievement to describe with such verisimilitude so wide a range of microcosms and character... The characters are so likable that the story has momentum and doesn't flag. The family relationships are nuanced and shrewd, and the dialogue is well-observed, particularly the onstage banter between ventriloquist and dummy... A well-crafted tale... (with) a pace and a variety... (and a) horrible and compelling explanation..."- Molly Guinness, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT   
"More than a high-flown yarn; (by George) is also a well-nigh effortless portrait of alienation and sublimated affection... Brimming with imagination, Wesley Stace has created as many scenes and characters as some writers would bring to a couple of novels. He could yet, then, be in for a battle with his own alter ego, the singer John Wesley Harding, whose albums will be necessary listening for every reader."- Christopher Hawtree, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH   
"Engrossing. Stace deftly sketches the arcana of ventriloquism, the palely intimidating atmosphere of a provincial prep school and the chaotic backstage atmosphere of the Fisher family at the same time as cracking the whip over a compelling detective plot. As in his first novel, the luxurious mock-Dickensian melodrama Misfortune, he combines an old-fashioned delight in story and narrative texture with a psychologically acute modern sensibility. By George is as alert to the inward peculiarities of its characters and their chosen art as it is to the scripting of its drama..... George and his namesake are anything but wooden, and they should make deserved converts for a writer well worth watching."- Tim Martin, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY   
"A brilliant hook... The dummy narrates a fair part of the book, an ambitious idea which Stace manages with some success, for the reader begins to feel sorry for the dummy, hurled about, thrown into corners, taken to pieces, dressed up in army gear, burdened with acting out the emotional problems of his ventriloquist and then relegated to attics or dusty museums. The action in this vivid and charming novel flips between the 1930s and the 1970s.... The cold, rough atmosphere of a boy's boarding school is brought to life with gusto and Stace excels at viewing the world through a schoolboy's vivid imagination (and) keeps the reader guessing with plot twists and turns...  'by George' ably conveys the nostalgia of a London about to be changed forever by war and the heady delights of back-stage gossip in the theatres and music halls of a bygone age."- Vanessa Curtis, THE SCOTSMAN   
"An absorbing tale with an original narrative twist given extra depth by convincing descriptions of troop entertainment in World War II and the sidelining of variety under the onslaught of TV."- Ross Gilfillan, THE DAILY MAIL   
"A rich bouquet. Stace is a Victorian novelist at heart and clearly yearns for a bigger canvas.... Touching and engrossing... Good fun to be had, smart set-pieces, and ultimately proof that a novel about ventriloquists needn't be at all creepy."- Peter Ness, THE GUARDIAN (UK)    
"Lovingly researched... The complexity of the Fisher family tree – some boughs fallen, some rotten, some apparently nailed on – is [by George's] driving force. The Fisher family saga takes centre-stage for a thoroughly satisfying denouement under the appropriately clear skies of the Italian coast."- Jonathan Wise, THE INDEPENDENT   
"By George has a warm feel about it, plenty of gentle humour and manages to feel refreshingly original but as comfortable as well-worn boots at the same time."- Jon Wise, THE DAILY SPORT   
"A delightful and ingenious examination of love and the desire for a voice of one's own. Entrancing."- EASY LIVING 

by George