“Book of the Month” for March 2016.
You can find Dadness.uk’s full review of The Radio here:
I was expecting good things from this book when I started it, but never expected it to be as good as it was!
You can find Sheli’s full review of The Page here:
“A Tiny Feeling of Fear” may well become your new favourite book. It certainly is mine.
You can find Nick’s full review of A Tiny Feeling of Fear here:
The Radio is Lee’s debut novel and it shows many positives. While I didn’t laugh out loud at George’s trials and tribulations – the comedy is certainly bittersweet – he is definitely a lovable character. I also really loved the premise; it’s a subtle but perceptive glimpse into the difficulties that British people have dealing with mental illness, particularly in young people, and George’s quest for redemption is revealed tenderly, with great empathy, and without sugar-coating the tragic aspect of the loss of a child.
You can find Kate’s full review of The Radio here:
I really enjoyed this book. I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy I exchange for an honest review, without which, I may not have come across it.
Lee tackled a difficult subject matter with understanding and respect and if you haven’t already lived with mental illness in one way or another, it would surely act as an eye opener. There was a lot of the story that would resonate with a wide audience. The day to day mundane is a familiar theme at least.
As I started the book I was slightly concerned that it could be a little heavy due to the subject matter, however as I turned page after page, I realised I had nothing to worry about. It is very well written and kept me involved from start to finish. I enjoyed the story being told in first person narrative. I liked that Andrew was talking to me, it helps the reader to connect, whether or not they truly understand his daily struggle. The pace changed throughout the book, almost reflecting his current state of mind, again, helping you connect to Andrew.
This is without doubt, the best book I’ve read in a while, and now I know what I know from the ending, I will be reading it again very soon. I would absolutely recommend this book and I will certainly be looking out for other books by the author, as I really enjoyed his writing style.
C J Parker
Amusing and poignant in equal measure; warm, witty and true to life.
Judge, The Novel Prize 2012
“The first 5* review I’ve given this year. A fantastic and brave story.”
A Tiny Feeling of Fear has such an authentic feel to it that I’ve no doubt large portions of it are confessional. I know from personal experience the exact feelings he describes so perfectly. The prose is measured and detailed but at no point slows the pace down too much. It is also very cleverly done, and I guarantee you will want to re-read it again once you get to the end, and know the full story.
Although I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute towards the sleeve notes, I felt it was important for me to write a slightly more extensive review of this extremely engaging and readable debut novel.
Modern thinking is that you need to have a strict plot running through a book to make it interesting, readable and worthwhile. I don’t agree with this, and this book proves my point. Not only does it read so well it is a brilliant page turner, but it also portrays a great number of universal truths about daily life, about the mundanity of daily existence, that make it more than just a quick read. It has something in it for the reader to carry away with him/her when the book is finished.
The twist at the end leaves the reader wanting more, which I think is a good thing. Really good books leave the reader felling bereft, and that’s how I felt when I reached the end.
Couched in simple language, this story leads the reader through the full gamut of emotions, from hilarious incredulity through to the depths of despair. This is what makes it such a good a worthwhile (and quick) read. Entertaining from start to finish, it isn’t as superficial as many chick lit books, and the serious undertone of it makes me feel that the blurb describing it as a black comedy does it a slight injustice. This is a satire as well as contemplative narrative which will enrich the reader.
Author, Dead Men Walking
A Tiny Feeling of Fear’ deals not only with issues of mental health, but identity, humanity, love and parenthood. Due to the fact Andrew Walker is an extremely anxious individual, as a reader, you cannot help but be physically effected by his narrative.
M. Jonathan Lee’s debut novel first came to my attention a few months ago, as a finalist in The Novel Prize 2012. I have enjoyed books by Nick Hornby and Joseph Connolly when in the mood for “real life” literature (doesn’t involve mass killings, magic, apocalyptic futures, deadly strains of flu, etc). As M. Jonathan Lee’s style has drawn comparisons with both I’ve been awaiting its publication keenly. I’m so glad I kept my eyes peeled for it as it’s a cracking read. The characters are well formed and you really care what happens to each one of them right from the start. In a nutshell this book will have you chuckling one minute and choking back tears the next (or biting the inside of your cheek in a manly fashion). I haven’t enjoyed a debut novel as much since Alex Garland’s “The Beach”…here’s hoping Mr Lee’s next novel isn’t far away!
R. Scott Griffiths
Andrew Walker lets the reader into his life and talks to us about what is going on in his mind, the difficulties he faces suffering from anxiety and depression and how he sees the world around him and how on the outside he seems fine and successful in his career, but inside he is struggling and fighting a battle within himself.
Andrew Walker is a fictional character but with the story been told from his first person point of view he becomes very real and the lively, fast pace of the book draws you into Andrew’s world. Here the reader becomes the confidant. This makes the book interesting and different and because it is so well written it really works and the reader does not become disinterested from this point of view. A lot of people will be able to relate to the circumstances Andrew is going through too.
I’m not one for writing reviews, despite buying 2-4 books a month for my Kindle, but felt keen to contribute, mainly to encourage this debut author. The Radio is a truly heartfelt, insightful and warm composition. Despite the darker side to much of it’s content, Lee still manages to keep the reader gripped by the dark humour and familiarity of the characters.
The books strength is in it’s core sense of family and the humour identified in simplicity of daily life. We can all relate to this book and its characters on one level or another.
Mollie and George provide two memorable and long suffering characters, surrounded by those who have lost perspective.
A superb debut, and I look forward to reading his next novel.
A funny thought provoking book full of colourful characters and witty observances of everyday life. I laughed, I cried and I stayed up all night reading it as it was so hard to put down. Looking forward to the next book, hurry up and write it!
Any book that has you waking up thinking about it has to get 5 stars (I would give more if it was possible).
Another superb piece of writing from this author.
I became intrigued with the story from the first chapter – and remain intrigued after finishing the book. It has certainly got me thinking.
It is the first book that I have wanted to re-read as soon as I had finished it.
Jonathans first book The Radio made me cry – his second one The Page made me gasp and this one has blown me away – fabulous work & genius writing.
Mrs A Green
This book is a great read, coming from a guy who doesn’t read that often I couldn’t put the book down. Full of characters that you will love or love to hate. It draws you in doesn’t let go till the end when you want more.
I felt exhilarated and manipulated all at the same time, and there were times where I wasn’t sure what just happened. Jonathan Lee is crazy talented and crafty as hell to have pulled this off, that is about all I can say without spoiling the surprise.
You can find Kyle’s full review of A Tiny Feeling Of Fear here:
Kyle Wendy Skultety
Although I share the same name as the author, which is the reason it drew my attention, I must say that I have never finished a novel so quickly. The author effortlessly draws in the reader with rich character descriptions which keep you turning the page over and over.
A fantastic twist. Surely there is a follow up to come?
Milly Johnson described A Tiny Feeling of Fear as ‘original and inspiring.’
Sunday Times Best-Selling Author
Reviewing a first book is difficult, whilst appreciating the gargantuan effort by the writer is it fair to judge alongside an established author? Happily this is not an issue with ‘The Radio’… an extremely enjoyable and sharp debut by M Jonathan Lee. Mr Lee is clearly an accomplished writer, but his storytelling here shines.
Others have commented on the dark nature of the tale, and whilst I agree, I felt the dry humor and honesty of the characters really made the book. I found the main protagonist both sympathetic and a little tragic, his surroundings chaotic and all too familiar to family life. Chapters of the book are very moving and whilst the final twist is beautifully judged there were a number of outstanding unresolved issues that made me hope for a follow up in the near future.
The book works on a number of levels, foremost it is a great story, but its depth and emotional weight is also handled with a skilled and very light touch. It would be a disservice to describe this as a very good debut, it is simply very good book. Highly recommended.
Came across this title having read about it in local newspapers. Bought a copy and from beginning to end, could not put down and finished within a day. Love the twist, cant wait for the sequel.
I really enjoyed this book and am already looking forward to the next one. I’d really recommend reading both of Jonathan’s books to anyone. The Page will keep you intrigued from start to finish and will keep you wanting more by the end!
You can find Sheli’s full review of The Page here:
I was drawn to this book by the intriguing premise and it did not disappoint. The writing is first-class and although the author plays a dangerous game in making his protagonist so objectionable, I think he pulls it off. The story moves along at a swift pace and is not bogged down with unnecessary and over-written prose. I have to say though that the clues were a bit too well hidden for me and I’m not sure I even know what I was meant to be looking for. However, this did not spoil my enjoyment of this excellent book.
Kathryn Hughes, author of The Letter
Author, The Letter
I was recommended this book by a friend, and I’m so glad I gave it a go. Poignant, moving and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s great writing, and you get the sense that each line, each word, has been carefully considered and crafted. Such an intelligent debut, and one that I think will strike a chord with many. The kind of book you buy, put on your shelf and then promptly lend out to others – so you go buy another copy, put it on your shelf and then promptly lend it out to others…
A really riveting read. I loved his first book The Radio and often feel that the second books are disappointing. However it really grabs you from the first page. Can’t wait for book number three!!
A fantastic read. I could not put it down, I wanted to know what happened next. I was not disappointed, great book you need to read it. Well done M. Johnathan Lee. I look forward to the next book, hope it will not be long.
What a fantastic book. Spent the last week up until 2am every day, looking for clues. Very descriptive and deceptive. Loved it. I have a degree in English and have read so many books. …. This is one of my favorites ever 🙂
I was privileged to read The Radio prior to publication and found it compelling and a real page turner. That was some time ago. When I heard that it had been published I was keen to buy a copy and re read it. It was a great second read and the number of points of detail and cameos which I had not appreciated/remembered from the first read came to life and I found the family relationships so fascinating that I couldn’t put it down.
I was recommended this book by a close friend whilst on holiday. I managed to read the whole book in 24 hours, I simply couldn’t put it down. The characters in the book are incredibly colourful, but more importantly believable. The story revolves around downtrodden George and his disfunctional family, only is it when the story unfolds that the reasons for his families short commings become apparent.
The book is funny, thought provoking and at times heart breaking. It is quite apparent that the author must have knowledge around some of the more disturbing subject matter to describe the emotions involved in such detail.
Finally this book is 1.99! A complete bargain! I didnt want to mention any twists within the book, but it seems this has already been covered, I would say read the book without second guessing it, the pay off is worth it.
The Page is unlike anything that I’ve read before. Primarily a thriller, it’s also a dark and witty tale, with possibly one of the most obnoxious and quite cruel lead characters that I’ve ever come across.
You can find Anne’s full review of The Page here:
I’ve just finished reading “The Radio” by author Jonathan Lee. What a deliciously witty, clever, book that draws you in from the first chapter. It’s a beautifully dark, funny character driven tale that conjures up the very best and worst traits of family life. The characters are utterly believable (we all know people like them) good and bad. It’s a bold, brave and surprisingly refreshing debut novel that offers a “kaiser sose” style twist that leaves readers waiting for a follow up.
I loved every single minute of ‘The Radio’. Well written, the words just flowed so easily. There were some interesting characters too. I found this book really funny at times but also very sad. This is a story about real people and family life and I’m sure that lots of people can relate to it.
You can find Sonya’s full review of The Radio here:
Really enjoyed The Radio. A very funny book. I liked the way the characters are people you’d meet in day to day life. I couldn’t put it down once I’d started it.
As a first novel,The Radio is quite remarkable and works on many levels. Jonathan Lee has crafted an amazing story of family life and covers the whole range of emotions. The reader is immediately engaged and is taken on a journey of hope,comedy of the black kind and tragedy.No spoilers here but as twists go,the ending is a complete surprise. Mr Lee has a terrific way with words and I do hope there will be a lot more from him in the future. Highly recommended.
Author, Smile of the Viper
The writing flows from the page in terrific style – one of those books you live while you are reading it, and will stay with you when you are done…I am quite sad it is over.
You can find Liz’s full interview with M. Jonathan Lee and review of The Radio here: