Of all the cultural references Tidhar makes, the truest one to the spirit of the novel is the one to Goodfellas–and while I can’t help but appreciate Scorsese’s ability to spin a yarn, when I watch that film I always feel a little soiled. And so it goes with this book.
With novels, you should even like the antiheroes, you know? But other than Merlin, there’s no-one remotely sympathetic here at all.
I'm no shrinking violet, but with all the mob references, and with all the fucking profanity, with the complete lack of principle or virtue, never mind chivalry, you're left wondering how this could possibly be an edifying addition to the Matter of Britain, for anyone.