Sometimes a book comes along that seems so far up the Dazed readership's alley that it would be churlish not to make it Book Of The Month. 36-year-old Kirsten Reed's debut novel is one such book; a supremely cool, completely hypnotic American road trip that we enjoyed so much that we haven't been able to stop going on about it for weeks . . . [The Ice Age] is relayed in the pitch-perfect vernacular of a bright and troubled American small-town teen . . . it's not so much a tale of innocence lost as a tale of innocence buggered into a black hole forever, but Reed has crafted it all into a funny and shocking and spookily moving story of coming-of-age in contemporary America. The Ice Age has definitely been the book of our month. You should go out and buy it immediately and make it yours.
Book of the Month
DAZED & CONFUSED
I was totally entranced by this amazing debut novel. I love the way it lurches from sexy to utterly horrifying in an eye-blink. The narrator is both precocious and naïve, clever and stupid and just absolutely, perfectly charming. This is one of the most beautiful and brutal and brilliant portrayals of teenage girlhood I have ever read. It's unflinchingly honest, heartbreakingly romantic, strange and totally captivating.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Very occasionally a debut novel comes along that is fresh and exciting, full of energy and originality, which manages to be both shocking and deeply felt. The Ice Age is one such rare example. No wonder it's already been lauded by teams of hipsters, including singer Florence Welch, who provides an insightful jacket quote. Yet, The Ice Age's appeal and resonance will go far wider than any youth cult. Indeed, what the author's done is no less that reinvigorate that classic rites-of-passage staple, the road trip. But it's not just Jack Kerouac's One The Road that Kirsten Reed has drawn from. She's also delved into adolescent angst á la The Catcher In The Rye and more than dipped her toes into the shocking, sexualised small-town terrain of Nabokov's Lolita. It's a heady brew all right, and you take on such big guns at your peril. But Reed has pulled it off triumphantly... for those who care about intelligent, stylish narratives you are in for one hell of a ride.
Book of the Week
Four Stars. Reed does a brilliant job with The Ice Age, detailing compellingly and candidly her main character's life-changing experiences as she travels from town to town encountering a whole host of messed-up characters. As a result it's a gripping, gritty, occasionally uncomfortable and yet strangely romantic read, as we discover more about our fearless narrator and her changing view of the world.
More impressive is the assurance with which Reed puts words into her 17-year-old narrator's mouth, creating a sympathetic character who is sassy without being irritating, and insightful while remaining convincingly adolescent... at its best Reed's coming-of-age tale is as sharp as one of Gunther's fangs.
Tight and comic, this manages to be both fiercely unsentimental and intensely romantic.
An assured debut, The Ice Age is a compelling and memorable story. Reed is an insightful writer who has captured perfectly the moment a girl shifts from child to adult.
NEW ZEALAND HERALD
Reed turns all her standard props into something disconcertingly, raucously, intelligently new…at once comic, ironic, wistful and wise…Reed does extremely well at controlling her characters, finding clever ways to make mundane incidents or landscape memorable, and keeping us continually interested.