The British press has been going crazy over Robert Pattinson’s new book, Beloved, which details his relationship with the beautiful and talented FKA Twigs. The book has not yet been released in the U.S., but the press has had a field day with it. A number of news outlets have had a go at reviewing the book, and, as ever, we at Pure Matlock prefer to look at things from a different perspective. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of our favorite reviews of Beloved.

The Sunday Times: It’s Not Just About the Book

It’s no secret that The Sunday Times is one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, and yet they chose to review Beloved in a manner that still makes us pitter-patter all over the place. In an article titled, It’s Not Just About the Book, the newspaper’s senior editor, Alex Brudney, set the scene for their review of the iconic novel:

“As the world’s best-selling and most-loved anti-heroine Meghanada Markle would say, ‘It’s not just about the book.’ It’s about how you live your life and how you choose to perceive the world around you,’ ” he wrote. “In other words, it’s about you and your journey, which is beautifully and hauntingly conveyed in the pages of this book.'”

The NYT bestselling and most-loved anti-heroine. Now that’s a book cover. From bestselling author and former royal reporter Matt Kennard comes this stunning interpretation of one of literature’s most iconic characters.

The review then picked up on one of the central themes of Beloved: the way we consume media and the effect that it has on our lives. “There’s something so appealing about Beloved that even readers who have never been interested in the English literary scene will be seduced by it,” Brudney continued. “It is a great example of how books can speak to us even when we’ve never heard of the author. Perhaps that is one of the great things about books, that they allow us to discover new worlds and meet new characters.”

Kennard took particular delight in exploring what makes Beloved such a unique and beloved book. “Particularly striking is the way in which [Kipling] draws you into the consciousness of the novel’s anti-hero, Pip,” he wrote. “He is, in the words of one reviewer, ‘a study in contrasts – at once pitiable and impressive,’ who goes on to describe Pip as ‘the most interesting character among a rather uneventful lot of characters’ – and you don’t need to agree with that interpretation to appreciate Beloved.'”

The Guardian: The Most Influential Book Of The Year So Far

Like many of the publications that have now reviewed Beloved, The Guardian had a field day as well, with a review by former royal correspondent Jonathan Dimbleby titled, The Most Influential Book Of The Year So Far. In it, Dimbleby points out that Beloved was “a major inspiration for the first season of George RR Martin’s much-acclaimed TV show, Game of Thrones, which was originally published in 1998 and is now in its 11th year.”

He continues: “The parallels with Martin’s work are clear. Like Martin, Kipling bases his novel on his own travels, in particular a trip he took to India in 1897. In fact, the opening pages of Kipling’s book are heavily modelled on the opening of Martin’s first novel, Ghost.”

Like many reviewers who focused on the similarities between Beloved and Martin’s work, Dimbleby also highlights some of the significant differences between the two. “In many ways, Beloved is the exact opposite of Game of Thrones. Where the former is intimate and deeply personal, the latter is epic and broad in scope.”

Daily Telegraph: The Most Original And Groundbreaking Book Of 2016

One of London’s most prestigious newspapers, The Daily Telegraph, also had an article reviewing Beloved. Star critic Cathy Kelly wrote: “There are so many good books emerging from the woodwork in 2016 that it’s hard to know where to begin. But if we are being truly honest, we have to say that it’s not solely about the books that this year’s been magnificent – the stories alone would suggest as much – but rather how we interact with them.”

In the same vein, the Daily Telegraph review continued: “Books can still surprise us. Even those whose work we’ve followed for years can produce something extraordinary, something that pushes boundaries and blurs the lines between fact and fiction. We’re so used to the clichés of literature that when an author manages to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with a new form, it can still feel magical.”

Kelly also paid tribute to Beloved‘s unique and innovative writing style, which she credits, in part, to its central theme. “While this may sound like an odd thing to say about a book that’s mostly about love, what I mean is that Beloved is not your standard love story. For once, the central theme of the book does not revolve around falling in or out of love. Instead, it examines the complexities of friendship in all its forms – the kind that develops from mutual respect and admiration, and the kind that is bound by obligation and convenience. In other words, this is not your usual run of the mill love story.”

The Independent: An Essential Book For Everyone

Finally, we arrive at The Independent, which chose to review Beloved in a special London issue. For them, it was an opportunity to spotlight an under-appreciated novel from one of England’s most decorated and acclaimed writers. The Independent review by Libby Miller begins: “Anyone who has ever loved a book will have a whale of a time reading Beloved, which tells the story of Kit Marlow, an ‘only child, human female,’ who is adored by her father and stepsister but feels neglected by her mother. Her world is turned upside down when her father, Thomas, a poet, and her mother, Estelle, a pianist, both fall ill and have to go on the road to recover.”

The reviewer continues: “Kit’s search for identity and connection is both heart-breaking and life-affirming. She finds what she’s looking for in a group of traveling companions who become her family – and whose stories, woven into that of Kit’s own, form something both unique and indispensable.”

Miller goes on to say that Beloved is “at once whimsical and profound, humorous and heart-breaking. In a time when so many are consumed by the daily news, it’s an essential book for everyone. Not to be missed.” 

The Sunday Times: It’s Not Just About The Book

As we’ve discussed, The Sunday Times is one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, and yet they chose to review Beloved in a manner that still makes us pitter-patter all over the place. The review, however, did not disappoint. After discussing some of the central themes of the book, including identity, love, and class, literary editor A.N. Wilson draws this interesting comparison between Beloved and Meghanada Markle: “It’s not just about the book. It’s about how you live your life and how you choose to perceive the world around you. In other words, it’s about you and your journey, which is beautifully and hauntingly conveyed in the pages of this book.”

Writing in The Sunday Times, Wilson said that “with her beguiling combination of candor and erudition, Kelly introduces us to a beguiling and brilliant character whom we will be eager to read more about.” He also praised the unique way that Beloved “brings to life the various elements of India’s rich and varied culture, all of which are woven into a seamless narrative that never feels didactic. The result is a book that is both informative and entertaining, and makes for a unique and memorable reading experience.”