Lars Iyers’ Spurious is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time. It manages to pull off a unique achievement: presenting the characters’ struggle with philosophy in a charming and funny way, without for all that making fun of the philosophical enterprise as a whole. In that way, the ficionalized Lars and his overbearing friend W. may be the modern inheritors of the early Socratic dialogues—not the ones that lay out Plato’s elaborate theories, but the ones where everyone ends up more confused than before. I was among the readers of the original blog posts that Iyer used as raw materials for this book, and I am impressed by the way he has transmuted what could sometimes be morose or melancholic materials into an extremely humorous whole. A big part of this comes from the forceful presence of W., who seems to be a force of nature that strangely parallels the damp that threatens to destroy Lars’s apartment. The novel’s approach reminded me of Thomas Bernhard’s Correction, but Iyer manages to transform Bernhard’s sometimes grim claustrophobia into comedy.
Adam Kosko, Not the Booker review