Spurious is a seriously funny book. It makes us feel the pain of failure, absurdity, moral weakness, and damp kitchens. But it also invites us to enjoy this pain, to share it with others, and to wash it down with the best gin in the world. The relationship between the narrator and W. is painfully real. Will W.’s scathing and relentless criticism of the narrator never cease? Will the narrator never fight back? But here, too, in the misadventures, failed encounters and bad manners of our heroes, there is enjoyment and love. There is also something more: genuine philosophical insight. In its own irreverent way, Spurious engages – with its own kind of reverence – with some of the most important thinkers and issues of our time. Emerging from the damp of a gloomy flat, infected with the flat melancholy of late modernity, are brilliant reflections on Kafka, Rosenzweig, Spinoza, Levinas, Blanchot and others. Spurious is the best kind of philosophical novel: a comedy that invites us to engage in the seriousness of thought without taking ourselves too seriously.
Sazerac, Not the Booker review