Books in the Media: Grand slam for King and Osman

Books in the Media: Grand slam for King and Osman

Two Viking titles stood out to critics this week: Bille Jean King's All In: An Autobiography and Richard Osman's second novel The Man Who Died Twice. 

King's memoir was picked up by the Times and Sunday Times, the Observer, The Bookseller and the New York Times, where Caitlin Thompson compared All In to King's 2008 memoir Pressure Is a Privilege (Lifetime), saying"She’s up to something more overtly political now with All In, and the urgency with which she writes [about her work] as an activist gives one the sense that it’s essential to her that the mantle is passed to the next generations." 

In the Sunday Times, Rebecca Myers wrote: "All In pulls evocatively on the threads of the tumultuous social and historical background to her life, painting a compelling portrait of modern America alongside the narrative of King’s life, from the desegregation of schools to the heyday of Gloria Steinem’s Ms magazine and the revelation of King’s abortion in its pages."

Over in the Times, Melanie Reid called the tennis player's memoir a "rare and moving book, a must-read for tennis fans and a vivid slice of social history" and in the Observer Tim Adams called it a "true gamechanger".

Finally, it was a One to Watch for The Bookseller's Caroline Sanderson who commented that the memoir "encompasses far more than tennis, taking in the heroic King's struggles with sexual identity, her equal rights activism, the anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights and LBGTQ+ rights movements and more". 

Osman's second novel The Man Who Died Twice picked up a handful of reviews before its publication on 16th September and the comic crime sequel, which continues to follow the foursome first seen in The Thursday Murder Club, was a One to Watch for The Bookseller's Alice O'Keeffe. 

Whilst the Evening Standard's Robert Dex gave a mixed review of the novel ("as a reviewer I can find plenty of faults, but as a reader I didn’t care — and I suspect millions of other won’t either"), it was dubbed  "superbly entertaining" by the Guardian's Lynne Truss and "beautifully drawn" by the Observer's Hannah Beckerman. 

Finally, in the Sunday Times, Joan Smith said that Osman's second looks set for success on the same scale as his debut, which was the bestselling novel of 2020 according to Nielsen, but added his success "says more about the relationship between celebrity and publishing than it does about his writing".