Phillips's spellbinding third book cements this young novelist's reputation as one of the best writers in America, a storyteller who combines Nabokovian wit and subtlety with a narrative urgency that rivals Stephen King's.... The novel thus unfolds like some infernally complex piece of origami.... [A] profoundly unsettling achievement.

– Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post (Best Fiction of 2007 List)

A spectacular, ever-proliferating tale of mingled motives, psychological menace, and delicately told crises of appetite and loneliness.

– The New Yorker

Angelica impresses first as a clever send-up of the late Victorian novel, and then becomes its own very original thing. It is engrossing, deeply moving, andprecisely because it is movingvery frightening.

– Stephen King

A culturally authentic masterpiece....Angelica is bold and clever, its setting rich and provocative.  Its unsettling story line unearths deep wells of intense human trauma and deception.

– Carol Memmott, USA Today

A profound meditation on the shortcomings of memory....Here rigorous craft is in perfect balance with volatile content, resulting in a shapeshifting puzzle-novel with a harrowing soul to it.

– Michael Upchurch, The Seattle Times

Comparisons to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw have already abounded, and it’s a compliment Phillips deserves.... Phillips proves a deep sensitivity to the quiet anguish and emotional vagaries which plague the isolated and misunderstood.... Phillips nails it. In fact, I’m worried it has, at this early juncture, already spoiled me for fiction this year – it’s that good.

– Readings Monthly (Australia)

The extravagantly talented novelist Arthur Phillips...has produced an elegantly sculpted psychological ghost story... "The Turn of the Screw" crossed with "Rashomon."

– Laura Miller, Salon

Artfully contrived, extraordinarily well-written....[The fourth section ties] the emotional bow on this barbed entertainment, pierced with such lean eloquence that it plays like the first violin in a late Beethoven string quartet.

– Carlo Wolff, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Brilliantly constructed.

– Life Magazine (Editor's Pick)

Fans of Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White ... will appreciate the literary reverse-engineering in Arthur Phillips's accomplished pastiche of the Victorian ghost story...[a] subtle revisiting of the late Victorian novel's form and content.

– The Age (Australia) Book Pick of the Week


[In] this exquisitely crafted novel...Phillips evokes the plush parlours and churning streets of Victorian England in precise and bewitching prose. Equally impressive, his rendering of the grey city's living ghosts; wounded protagonists whose buried histories might be the most frightening thing of all...Angelica is a ghostly chiller, yes, but it also triumphs as an analysis of memory and a portrait of a dysfunctional marriage.

– Who Weekly (Australia)


Richly detailed, atmospheric, psychological labyrinth of a novel....Remarkably assured, dazzling fiction.... Phillips builds suspense as skillfully as he reconstructs the delicate language of the time, which in saying almost nothing speaks volumes about sexual anxiety.

– Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

Oh, this is clever, wicked fun and the best thing about this look into the dark side of feminine psychology is that it's the work of a male author.

– Kit Reed, The St. Petersburg Times

Phillips deftly conjures this world, a place where impeccable children play hoops in the same manicured parks that are nightly haunted by drunks and prostitutes.... [and] has honoured James's definition of a proper ghost story, "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy". He has once again "roused our dear old sacred terror".

– Geordie Williamson, The Australian

Phillips is a young writer who may already be at the top of his form. He is not afraid of long paragraphs with sentences containing lots of complex clauses, but he is always in charge.

– The Blurb (Australia)


A charming novel in which old-fashioned phantoms cleverly give way to Freudian nightmares.

– Andrew Sean Greer, The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)

Prodigiously talented.... Ambiguity...lifts the novel from a simple ghost story into a meditation on memory, childhood, relationships, society and even Freudian analysis.

– Amy Woods Butler, The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch

Angelica turns unreliability into a burning existential, psychological question and an essential condition of the world as we know it.... Phillips has pulled off an impressive pastiche of the Jamesian aesthetic without sinking into sheer imitation.... Angelica is a psychological detective story without the detective... It is left to the reader to fire up their inner Sherlock Holmes and piece together the remains of these shattered Victorian lives into a coherent tale.  Phillips may not supply the answers, but he has crafted some elegant shards.

– Saul Austerlitz, The San Francisco Chronicle

Arthur Phillips is one brainy, clever, talented writer.... Phillips masters the alternately delicate and overwrought language and conventions of Victorian ghost stories.... raises far-reaching questions about the elusiveness of cause and effect and, especially, certainty.

– Heller McAlpin, The Boston Globe

A symphony of psychological complexity and misdirection in four increasingly tricky movements displays the varied wares of the gifted Phillips.... Phillips juggles possibilities almost as adroitly as did Henry James in this novel's likely inspiration, The Turn of the Screw – and he ups the ante in successive narratives.... Elegant writing abounds, as do probing characterizations and flashes of wit.... An impressive step forward for the versatile Phillips, who continues to engage, surprise, and entertain. 

– Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Phillips is a writer of uncommon versatility.... Phillips's control of language and exquisite writing (you are actually transported to the London of Dickens) is worth the price of admission. Highly recommended for everyone who has ever worried that there is a ghost under the bed.

– Edward Cone,Library Journal (Starred Review)

Phillips is a dazzlingly clever American writer whose third novel is sure to focus attention on his talent.  He has written a psychological ghost story reminiscent of Henry James and...Shirley Jackson.  Phillips has confidently nodded to both these masters...but {taken] the genre into the realms of post-modernism.

– Mary Philip, The Daily Telegraph (Australia)


A gripping novel that combines Victorian sensibilities with 21st century concerns about the malleability of truth and the instability of human perception....Phillips has written far more than a mesmerizing piece of historical fiction; instead, he's give us a powerful meditation on the ever-shifting foundations of modern identity.

– Geoffrey Bateman, The Rocky Mountain News

A superlative ghost story.... A beautifully written, haunting thriller that will have you fixating on every creak in the floorboards.

– Carol Ratelle Leach, Minnesota Monthly

Phillips once again proves himself a versatile, elegant writer of immense talent....This is a book you will close, but continue to contemplate.  Comparisons to Henry James' The Turn of the Screw are inevitable, and Phillips' novel can hold its own when it comes to them.  Erudite, dazzling, and full of ambiguity, Angelicais not to be missed.

– Tasha Alexander, Bookpage

Phillips' best novel yet....Phillips is spot-on when creating the moody Victorian atmosphere needed to sustain his mystery....  Angelica is a dark, brooding, multilayered puzzle that expertly reflects upon the complexities of the human condition.

– Dorman Shindler, The Denver Post

Phillips has constructed his novel as a fugue... but the limits of knowledge are cleverly shaped.... Phillips' novel reverberates, rather than proceeding in a standard sense, oscillating between male and female perspectives, the supernatural and the natural world, innocence and evil, and generations too.  In Phillips' world, the dance of the sexes is more of a death march than anything.

– Art Winslow, The Los Angeles Times

Truly elegant writing.

– Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor

A wickedly ingenious deconstruction of a ghost story, but it's also a whodunit, as well as a what-, when-, where-, how-, and especially whydunit....Phillips succeeds brilliantly.

– Charles Matthews, The Houston Chronicle

So accomplished....At its heart, "Angelica" is a mystery, beautifully crafted.

– Susan Whitney, The Deseret News

Clever, chilly novel....Our impresson of what's happening changes often...illustrating the folly of trying to pigeonhole not just this profoundly troubled marriage, but anyone's.

– Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly

Phillips’s impressive third novel uses four linked viewpoints to explore class, gender, family dynamics, sexuality and sciences.... Captures period diction and detail brilliantly. At its strongest, the multiple-viewpoint narration yields psychological depth and a number of clever surprises.

 Publishers Weekly

Phillips...expertly depicts the repressiveness of the Victorian era, well attuned as he is to the subtle and dramatic transformation of familial roles that occur when a child is introduced into the family dynamic.

– Benjamin Segedin, Booklist

Angelica is, above all, an account of a marriage's plunge into utterly destructive miscommunication -- hair-raising indeed.

– Kate Lowenstein, Time Out New York