A compelling memoir. Absorbing and graced with a deceptive lightness of touch, [Hanging with the Elephant] is clever and brilliantly pieced together. Harding writes like an angel
The writing is simple...The detail is forensic. The smells, the sounds and the memories of the house and its chatelaine described beautifully and without embellishment, one word following another, perfectly judged and placed, like literary feng shui
Wonderful ... Like many people who have achieved a great deal, [Harding] cannot recognise his triumphs. This book, like its predecessor, is one of them.
Harding is a self-deprecating and winsome writer whose bittersweet musings on middle-age, loneliness and the search for spiritual enlightenment in post-Catholic Ireland are leavened by an incredibly dry and unforced wit. However, it's the sections in which Harding focuses on his relationship with his mother...that Hanging with the Elephant reaches lump-in-throat-inducing levels of poignancy
Harding hits it out of the park again