Inside by Alix Ohlin


15 Critic Reviews

...focuses on interiors — of bodies, of personalities, of homes and hearts.
-Washington Times


“A skillful storyteller . . . attractively quick-witted and wry.” —J. M. Coetzee
“Ohlin has a great eye, a great ear, and all the other equipment auguring a very successful future.”—Jay McInerney
“Expect to hear her spoken of in the same reverent breath as Lorrie Moore and Joy Williams.” —Heidi Julavits
From the highly acclaimed author of The Missing Person and Babylon and Other Stories, a resonant novel of entwined lives and a woman with an unsettling ability to broach the innermost dynamics of the people around her.
      When Grace, an exceedingly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man who has just failed to hang himself, her instinct to help kicks in immediately. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. In the meantime, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away from home and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace’s ex-husband, who is a therapist as well, leaves the woman he’s desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the many dangers as well as the imperative of making ourselves available to—and responsible for—those dearest to us.

This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

About Alix Ohlin

See more books from this Author
Alix Ohlin is the author of The Missing Person, a novel; Babylon and OtherStories; and Signs and Wonders, a new collection. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and on public radio's Selected Shorts. She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, where she teaches at Lafayette College.
Published June 5, 2012 by Vintage. 353 pages
Genres: Other, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Inside
All: 15 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by WILLIAM GIRALDI on Aug 17 2012

For a writer so invested in the bland earnestness of realism, Ohlin forces her characters to speak and behave like few humans from reality...

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Washington Times

Reviewed by Claire Hopley on Jul 19 2012

...focuses on interiors — of bodies, of personalities, of homes and hearts.

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Entertainment Weekly

Reviewed by Stephan Lee on Jun 06 2012

Even knowing these story arcs are unlikely to end happily, you can't help but become invested in Inside.

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National Post arts

Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic on Jul 06 2012

...Inside is all strengths: Next to brilliant phrases and scenes of laugh-eliciting satiric jabs, there are brutal, heartbreaking circumstances.

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The Washington Post

Reviewed by Carolyn See on Jun 22 2012

Alix Ohlin...possesses an unsettling gift for the quotid­ian — the lulling, soothing quality of everyday life and speech — even as the most awful things occur.

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The Boston Globe

Reviewed by Jane Ciabattari on Jun 10 2012

...display her characteristic strengths — dynamic plots, keenly observed settings, and characters so idiosyncratic, ambivalent, and contradictory they could be your family, your neighbors, people you work with.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Reviewed by Mary Pols on Jun 17 2012

The title also makes for an unintended endorsement of Ohlin's skills; this cunning writer yanks you inside her world.

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The Rumpus

Reviewed by SEAN CARMAN on Jul 24 2012

...Inside is, ultimately, a novel about hope. It begins with a gesture of despair and ends with one of promise.

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Digital Journal.

Reviewed by Chanah Rubenstein on Oct 26 2012 a masterfully written novel that spans more than a decade and travels to Montreal, Nunavut, New York, Hollywood, and Africa.

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Calgary Herald

Reviewed by IAN MCGILLIS on Aug 10 2012

...Inside, though fully satisfying the first time through, all but demands a second reading. It’s something most readers will be more than happy to do.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Reviewed by Jules on Sep 29 2012 was a book that had a lot of hidden depth to its characters and overall storyline and one that would appeal to a lot of readers.

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Reading Matters

Below average
Reviewed by Kim Forrester on Oct 12 2012's not doing anything particularly special to warrant a literary prize and the message — that life can be lonely and difficult and perplexing — is a well worn, almost clichéd one.

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Kevin from Canada

Below average
Reviewed by Kevin on Oct 05 2012

...started out well enough but quickly descended into one of those loosely structured montages of people in pain, and we’ve already seen these people and that structure many many times over the years.

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Reviewed by Steph on Jun 04 2012

Ohlin’s writing is first of all compelling and insightful, which serves to deepen the experience of the story...

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thoughts on writing and reading

Reviewed by Mark Richardson on Aug 27 2012

One of my favorite chapters is focused on Anne, a sexy actress, who moves from Manhattan to Hollywood to join the cast of a TV sitcom. It’s a riot!

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