Shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction.
“Best Books of 2021” in the New Zealand Listener: “Ingenious meditation on time, memory and decay.”
A memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake he made in 1976 when, panicked, he abandoned his brother on a frozen lake in Baltimore. Decades later, in 2011, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney becomes romantically involved with a philosopher from New Zealand. A writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsesses over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy.
Are they separate stories, or are they one? Is the time traveller actually travelling? Can the past be changed? As the answers to these questions slowly emerge, the lives become entangled in a tale of love, desperation and physics.
A time-travel novel like no other, Bryan Walpert’s masterful storytelling explores the choices people make to live with the past and suggests the power of literature to redeem.
“Dazzlingly intelligent and ambitious in scope…A novel unafraid to ask difficult questions, and a novelist unwilling to patronise his readers.” – judges’ comments, 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
“…a virtuoso performance, from its narrative and figurative structure to its intellectual heft and its stylistic precision…What stops this book from being no more than an impressive tour de force is the skill of its storytelling and its profound humanity. These days our literary novels often get called brilliant. Entanglement…is a rare example where the epithet is deserved.” – Chris Else, Landfall (read full review here)
“A novel full of two things I can’t stand in fiction— audaciously long sentences and a protagonist who’s a writer —and yet I freaking love this book! Walpert has not only the ear of a poet, but also the ruthlessness of a novelist skilled at unpicking human relationships. Trust me, this story will unfold like a set of dominoes arranged in the shape of your heart.” – Madison Hamill, author of Specimen
“This is a book that makes you slow down your reading because you don’t want the experience to end. That calls to you when you’re going about your day. That makes you nudge your partner to say, Listen to this. Entanglement is erudite, romantic, deeply moving. I reached the end and turned straight back to page one, entangled.” – Gigi Fenster, author of A Good Winter
“…a story that jumps with energy, both emotional and intellectual.” – David Hill, Kete Books (read full review here.)
“…he is definitely not intent on replaying familiar sci-fi tropes. The book is really a complex reflection on the nature of time, memory and regret.” – Nicholas Reid, New Zealand Listener.
“I read the first page and was smitten…Clever and complicated without being pretentious, a rich depth to the themes (some of which you won’t notice until the end when you find they’ve been there all along), lots to unpick and a joy to read.” – Cristina Sanders (read full review here)
“I have returned to this book several times since I first read it and every time I have a renewed sense of awe and appreciation for the quality of the prose, the emotion brilliantly portrayed behind seemingly simple phrases…In my opinion, Bryan Walpert’s Entanglement is as good as, if not better than many books you will find on a Booker Longlist. A bold statement perhaps, but not one I make lightly.” – Olivia Spooner, The Booklover Bookshop (read full review here)
“It is a book that requires and rewards full and undivided attention: a perfect summertime read for lovers of science and literature who want something a little more substantial than the latest Stephen King.” – Cushla McKinney, Otago Daily Times.
“…a beautiful, stylistically adventurous and deeply philosophical work…Walpert has a screenwriter’s eye for foreshadowing and payoff…” – Angelique Kasmara, Academy of New Zealand Literature (read full review here)
“If I had to provide a one-word review for Entanglement, it would be this one, and that’s ‘exquisite.’” — Alison Fitzpatrick, Books and Beyond, Planet FM
“…at the heart, at the warm core of the novel, I find all things human. This is what makes Entanglement a haunting, moving read. It is the choices we make, domestic detail, daily routines, self doubt, self compulsion, the way we nourish those we love, the way we nourish and make sense of ourselves. It is the way we are human; intellectually and emotionally engaged. Entangled. The way we become entangled as we read. I toast this glorious book.” – Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf (read the full review here).