Brandon Taylor on the Sally Rooney Phenomenon


novelist Brandon TaylorShe visits the podcast to discuss her much-discussed work, creating her own fashion with her first novel “Real Life” and her short story collection “Nasty Animals”. Sally Rooney. Taylor recently reviewed her third novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You?” On the podcast, she describes Rooney’s writing as “an intense, melancholy appealing beam.”

“He has a really cool, tactile sense of metaphor, but he never goes overboard,” she says. “His style is so clean. That’s the word I use most often to describe his style. It’s so clean, so pristine.” Like his previous two books, this book feeds on the tedium of close relationships. “All in all, if you’re a Sally Rooney fan, I think you’ll love this novel,” Taylor says. “And if you’re a Sally Rooney skeptic, I think she’ll acknowledge your concerns but maybe not fully respond to them.”

Another Rooney, David Rooney, visits the podcast to discuss his new book, “About Time: A Twelve Hour History of Civilization.”

“There is something about watches and wristwatches,” he says. “It has more meaning to many people than other works. I wasn’t quite sure why. I was trying to get behind watches and their dials, rather than understand how they work – which is fascinating – what they mean and what they have always meant across cultures throughout history.”

Also in this week’s episode, Tina Jordan looks back at Book Review history as she celebrates her 125th anniversary; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; Jennifer Szalai and John Williams talk about recently reviewed books. The host is Pamela Paul.

Here are the books Times reviewers are discussing this week:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the Book Review podcast in general. you can send them books@nytimes.com.



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