Tom Adair praises the conclusion of the Quintet in the Scotsman:
REMINISCENT of John Updike’s Rabbit at Rest – the final volume of his Rabbit quartet – there’s a mighty, resounding thwack of satisfaction for the reader at the conclusion of Tariq Ali’s ambitious Night of the Golden Butterfly. Both books conclude with a sense of finality mingled with loss – the death of a larger-than-life leading character has just happened – yet something adheres.
For Ali winds up his audacious, prize-winning, epic Islam Quintet by rounding up his key players for a finale marked by a wonderfully worked set piece (the unveiling of a major, totemic painting, the culmination of a life’s work), leaving the reader in little doubt that the manifold foibles and achievements of this colourful cast of players will continue into the ether. This is a book I will read again…
Islamic politics and faith, the mille-feuille of layers that constitute belief, and the salty real world behind closed doors, are all caught starkly by Ali’s uneffusive prose. For once “unputdownable” is the case.
Read the full review here.
And Michael Arditti, author and critic, reviews the book for the Daily Mail:
TARIQ ALI may still be best known as a 1960s political firebrand but, in latter years, he has reinvented himself as a novelist of distinction… his wry, ruminative account of lifelong friendship rings with truth.