"David Adams Richards’s thirteenth novel, The Friends of Meager Fortune,
may well be his greatest literary accomplishment. It has the power, immensity, and melancholy of which Nobel prizewinners are sometimes made … As a pure storyteller, Richards has it all over just about every male writer in this country."
-Books in Canada
"[A] beautifully mournful portrait of life in the unforgiving landscape of postwar New Brunswick. . . Richards’s work. . . approaches the poetic nuances of Greek tragedy."
"Like a Shakespearean tragedy, [The Friends of Meager Fortune
] builds momentum as the deceptions and lies weave a tangled web that finally captures most of the major players in a crushingly tragic outcome. . . .Richards clearly demonstrates the vicissitudes of life, how heroes are created, how quickly they can topple from their pedestals, how the scorned can be reviled and then revered. . . A must-have."
"Richards complements his exquisitely focused vision of the world by being a fine writer with a flair for making every word count. At times, this novel reads like some mighty epic from Homer or Dante, a lyrical ballad of deeds great and terrible. Richards wields words like a sabre, creating a perfect image in a handful of words. … David Adams Richards has penned a winner."
- The Chronicle Herald
"David Adams Richards is perhaps the greatest Canadian writer alive."
-Lynn Coady, author of Mean Boy
“Told in well-wrought, sparse prose, this story of the nature of progress, man, and the wilderness is at once harsh and engrossing.”
-Historical Novels Review
“At the tale’s center is a tangled set of circumstances worthy of Aeschylus of Sophocles, including an old murder that casts a long shadow over the town, a beautiful young woman with a tragic past, and a rapaciously petty and hateful group of townspeople with an outsize appetite for scandal and grudges. Richards handles this all superbly, as his protagonist, Will, the doomed second son, battles against fate and his vindictive and spiteful neighbours. Richards, an award-winning novelist, can count this new novel among his best work.”
“Richards complements his exquisitely focused vision of the world by being a fine writer with a flair for making every word count. At times, this novel reads like some mighty epic from Homer or Dante, a lyrical ballad of deeds great and terrible. Richards wields words like a sabre, creating a perfect image in a handful of words. … David Adams Richards has penned a winner.”
-The Chronicle Herald
“There’s nothing meager about the Richards gift for storytelling. This sturdily crafted novel, on the long list for the Giller Prize, brings an obscure page of Canadian history to breathtaking, vivid life.”
“And no writer in Canada, with the exception of Alice Munro, is better at capturing the constantly shifting human dialect of intention and action, conscience and pride, and the ongoing wars between the public and private self.”
-Quill & Quire
“The Friends of Meager Fortune
is much more than a book noting the intimacies and actualities of the great logging traditions of our shared past; the hewers of wood, the haulers of water. No, Richards's storytelling abilities allow him to superimpose upon that past the enormous foibles of human nature -- greed, jealousy, gossip, betrayal and pride. His is a book of a town, of a dynasty; a book of epic proportion that should not be opened for a quick and easy read.”
“There is an outsize quality to the novels of David Adams Richards that is all too rare in contemporary writing, an epic scale that is sadly out of fashion. While brutally realistic, The Friends of Meager Fortune
somehow manages to slip the bonds of mere realism in pursuit of something greater, something archetypal, something very nearly mythic… The world of The Friends of Meager Fortune
is one of themes writ large, of good and evil, of honour and betrayal, of compassion and cruelty. It is classic storytelling, something too often missing from contemporary writing, a lack which we only fully recognize when startled by a novel of such range and daring as this.”
“David Adams Richards is an expert at building and maintaining suspense. An early prophecy, numerous betrayals, a murder, a mysterious disappearance, questionable paternity, and a dramatic fire -- all contribute to providing a compelling reality.”
-The Daily News
“The Friends of Meager Fortune
is one of those novels you can't adequately describe in a sentence, or a review, or even a book, unless that book is The Friends Of Meager Fortune
. It's a novel where you require a conscious effort not to write "larger-than-life" in the first paragraph of your review. Its author is David Adams Richards, Canada's Homer, a mythmaker stitching together scraps of half-remembered stories, rumours and unreliable witness accounts into a vast, elaborate patchwork quilt of a tale, as unexpected and messy and violent as real life. And he makes it look easy.”
-The Hamilton Spectator