A marvellous tour d'Horizon, written with energy and an eye for the spot-on detail, and creating a rich picture of culture, art, work, friendship and love in a London going through extraordinary times.
World War Two saw a boom in literary writing in black-out Britain of which the brightest star was the magazine Horizon. Will Loxley has a deft touch, wit, and a panoramic eye which would have pleased Cyril Connolly himself.
A consistently well-researched and highly illuminating take on an undersung era in British literary life
I enjoyed being transported, through Loxley's vignettes, to various corners of London...Loxley's first chapter, on Isherwood, [is] one of the most engaging I've read...a measured and thoughtful debut
An army of bitchy, backstabbing, rivalrous literary greats inhabit this energetic history... Loxley's voice is energetic and enthused
Writing in the Dark by Will Loxley charts Horizon's story in absorbing, novel-like form, across a tight and well-researched 352 pages.... It chronicles the capacity for art to bend with the winds of change and celebrates the importance of the printed word...What we learn from Writing in the Dark is that the right words can - and should - always be sought
This is Loxley's first book ... he is clearly a gifted writer
A bombshell of a first book...we can, thanks to Loxley's sinuous prose and ingenious imagination, experience the vicarious trauma of being bombed out in the Blitz... irresistible
[A] lively account... London itself could be said to be the other major character in Writing in the Dark, which is particularly good at describing buildings, both ruined and surviving, so that members of the large cast are located solidly and vividly in their homes and offices.
Loxley does a fine job of keeping this work of literary history lively...He knows how to keep a narrative going, and his critical asides are often incisive and memorably expressed. At his best, he is excellent. His concluding chapter, taking the unusual viewpoint that the poets of the Second World War are a match for their Great War counterparts, is so vigorously argued and marries criticism, history and biography together so well, that I read it again as soon as I finished it.
Loxley has an engaging style... packed with intriguing, often hilarious, anecdotes.
An enthralling overview of how a dozen London-based writers experienced the war. Well-chosen extracts from their work vividly capture the capital's changing moods.
A deft, novelistic survey of London's entwined, sometimes incestuous, world of letters during the second world war.
Highly entertaining and compulsively readable, Loxley's stylishly written debut brings literary London during the Blitz back to life.