Books

The Best Reviewed Fiction of 2023

Switching it up a bit from the usual best-of fare, Book Marks assembled a list of 10 of the best fiction books that were reviewed in 2023. The list includes books that were reviewed by over 150 publications — from the London Review of Books to The New York Times.

For starters, below are five of Book Marks’ best reviewed fiction of 2023:

cover of The Fraud by Zadie Smith

The Fraud by Zadie Smith

“A Dickensian delight…That the entire tapestry flows so seamlessly across decades, weaving in shared intimacies, massive crowd scenes and dusty literary gossip, is a testament to Smith’s craft … There is, in fact, nothing musty or ‘historical’ about Touchet’s arch voice or the timeless parade of literary and political folly that animates the novel.”

— Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times

cover image for Crook Manifesto

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Crook Manifesto is a dazzling treatise, a glorious and intricate anatomy of the heist, the con and the slow game…Here he uses the crime novel as a lens to investigate the mechanics of a singular neighborhood at a particular tipping point in time. He has it right: the music, the energy, the painful calculus of loss.”

— Walter Mosley, The New York Times Book Review

Book cover of Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

“Whooshingly enjoyable… A witty literary thriller about the collision between eco-idealism and staggering wealth…Catton taps into a feeling very much of our moment.”

— John Powers, NPR

the cover of The Bee Sting

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

“Murray shows off his formidable range, immersing us in worlds so distinct and textured that they seem to blot one another out — subjectivity and how its wonderful thickness can lead people astray being one of this author’s preoccupations.”

— Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

cover of I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

“Moore shows that grief and ghosts can be written about persuasively, and wittily, without turning a novel into a horror story…A triumph of tone and, ultimately, of the imagination. For Moore, death doesn’t necessarily mark the end of a story.”

— Abhrajyoti Chakraborty, The Guardian

For a full list, visit Book Marks.

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