Reviews for Entanglement and Stepping Out


‘Three books into an astonishing career, Sidley’s modus operandi came fully formed out of the box: make ’em laugh a lot, make ’em cry a little, and make them think all the way through. Big hearted, whip smart and his best yet, Imperfect Solo invites us to celebrate the coinage of an adjective: Sidley-esque.’RICHARD POPLAK, Daily Maverick columnist and author of The Sheik’s Batmobile 

‘Reading a Boykey Sidley novel is to experience vicariously a life lived to the full, with all of the excitement, tension, mishaps and intellectual stimulation one wishes for but rarely gets. Sidley has the knack of expressing ideas most of us merely fumble at – and he does so acutely, fascinatingly, viscerally. Full of unflagging energy, verve and surprise, Imperfect Solo is a rare aesthetic delight.’CRAIG MACKENZIE, professor of English at the University of Johannesburg and UJ Award judge

‘Imperfect Solo is a near perfect commercial novel. Not only does it entertain, but it provokes, intrigues and captures the good, the bad and the ugly so vicariously that it reads effortlessly’SIYABONGA SITHOLE, City Press

‘Sidley plays with parody, engaging his reader at a deep level, while frequently causing gales of laughter even amidst the saddest moments’ – JENNIFER CROCKER, Cape Times

‘Unlikely as it may seem, the southern tip of Africa has given rise to a male narrative voice, the precise timbre of which has not been heard since Portnoy. This is not to say that Sidley’s books are derivative. They aren’t. They are an original product of the 21st century and as such ring with authenticity’ – FIONA SNYKERS, The Times


‘Fluent, knowing and enormously entertaining, Sidley continues to parse his preoccupation with masculinity and power and the questions of goodness and grace, that he introduced in Entanglement. I eagerly await his third book.’ MICHELE MAGWOOD, Magwood on Books (Book of the Month, May 2013)

‘Words are assembled so sentences sing.’DENIS BECKETT, author of Radical Middle

‘After Sidley’s remarkable debut novel Entanglement, he steps up notch with Stepping Out. It is smart, deft, funny, vigorous and intellectually provocative. A compelling tale populated with vivid characters and sharp dialogue, this book is highly recommended.’RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart

‘Deliciously comedic and poignant.’JENNY CRWYS-WILLIAMS, Talk Radio 702

‘This is a fine book, a wise, big-hearted cautionary tale, leavened with absurd humour and salted with unforgettable characters.’ – MICHELE MAGWOOD, The Book Salon

‘A story to be celebrated for its philosophical courage and its affirmation of what matters most. Moving, authentic and acutely imagined.’ – ELAINE PROCTOR, author of Rhumba

‘Stepping Out provides a hazardous assault on the complacency of the suburbs, written in Boykey Sidley’s fluent and exemplary prose. Moving, humane and often very funny.‘ – CRAIG HIGGINSON, author of The Landscape Painter

‘Sidley’s prose in his second novel is rich and evocative … I can’t wait to read his debut, Entanglement.’– JOHN PHILLIPS, YOU Magazine

‘There is a lot of wisdom distilled in Stepping Out. This book will make you feel wiser, richer in spirit, and more grateful for the life that you have.’CHARLES CILLIERS, City Press

With a hint of Don Quixote, mixed up with a dab of Dante’s Inferno, we are swept along by Everyman’s ironic battle with his demons as he searches for his Holy Grail – himself.’ – STEVE PIKECape Times

‘Sidley belts out sharp dialogue that is witty, pertinent and reads like a film script. It is often laugh-out-loud funny. He philosophises, argues, alienates and then pacifies us.’ – SUE GRANT-MARSHALL, Business Day



“Excellent, fast paced, clever and funny debut, commended for its sharp characterisations and superb writing.”THE JUDGES, Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize 2013

‘Entanglement is a compelling, unputdownable novel, but it is much more than a thriller, and lingers long in the mind afterwards. It ranges over aesthetics, sex, philosophy, religion and science, among many other things, but always in a way that is fresh and vital. Boykey Sidley has the rare ability to deal with weighty matters in a deft and engaging manner. This makes Entanglement a very memorable debut.’ – CRAIG MACKENZIE, Professor of Enlish at University of Johannesburg, and UJ Prize Judge, 2013 

‘Steven Boykey Sidley has leapt into the literary limelight with a book called Entanglement. It’s a glorious mash-up of Phillip Roth, Saul Bellow, Ian McEwan and Elmore Leonard. Horny, heady and thrilling, Sidley has arrived on the scene.’RICHARD POPLAK, iMaverick

‘A really, really extraordinary book … I read it slowly because I wanted to absorb every word … I predict that Entanglement will become a runaway success, and will win major awards … I can see this on the long-list for the Man Booker awards.’SUE GRANT-MARSHALL, Reading Matters on Radio Today

‘This is one the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time … it’s one of the few books I’ve marked to reread. You’ll love it.’JENNY CRWYS-WILLIAMS, Talk Radio 702

Entanglement is astonishing, masterfully controlled, an extraordinary debut novel.’RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart

‘A new star in the literary firmament … it is an absorbing, provocative meditation on faith and science, masculinity and courage and heralds a powerful new voice in fiction.’MICHELE MAGWOOD, the literary salon, Magwood and Twiggs

‘What a pleasure it is to discover a new and snappy cosmopolitan-style writer whose first novel is a winner.’BEVERLY ROOS MULLER, Argus

‘Rare and highly welcome – a home-grown work of global class and calibre.’DENIS BECKETT, author of Radical Middle

‘This book will amuse and delight Dawkins fans … Sidley creates a believable and interesting set of characters with clever and subtle dialogue.’JANE ROSENTHAL, Mail & Guardian

‘A wry sense of humour … a style reminiscent of Ian McEwan’s Solar.’TYMON SMITH, Books Editor, Sunday Times

‘This book reminds us why we read.’KEVIN BLOOM, author of Ways of Staying

‘Highly recommended – a novel which admirably balances philosophical and metaphysical enquiry with satire and contemporary moral issues.’ – GWEN PODBURY, SA Jewish Report

‘This is an original and surprising novel that, while it has many intellectual preoccupations and themes, is also a thrilling, fast-paced read.’KAYANG GACIANO, Sawubona Magazine

‘There are books that make readers want to buy books and books that make writers want to write books. Steven Boykey Sidley’s debut novel made me want to do both.’ SHELAGH FOSTER

‘A beautiful mix of things….gripping.‘ – ELAINE PROCTOR, author of Rhumba

‘If you read only one book this month, read this.’ – Book of the Month, JENNY CRWYS-WILLIAMS, Talk Radio 702

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