"[A] Perfectly Constructed Novel…The time is 1974, and Max, who is fleeing from the wreckage of his first marriage, is a summer-house guest on Lake Como, where he encounters the two characters who will shape his life over the next 20 years: Charlie Swan, a Harvard classmate from the 1950s turned famous architect…and Toby, a poised and polymorphous teenager who is soon to become Charlie’s protege and lover."
"Elegant And Powerful…Charlie Swan is a grand invention — a big, booming American who bears evidence of Begley’s admiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Begley does a superb job of gradually involving Max, his narrator and Charlie’s friend, as a loving witness and an inseparable participant….[A] startling feat."
– The New Yorker
"Elegantly Wrought…As Max Saw It, without ever mentioning the word, confronts AIDS and the bravery, sacrifice, commitment and horror it engenders….Pain there may be, but such sublime writing as this can make us cry as well."
– Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Begley Remains A Writer Of High-Order Virtue — smart about the secret movements of the heart, keen to know the last lies we cling to, and unafraid to tell us the dire truths central to our business of living and loving….This is a novel about the gulf between sense and sensitivity, the difference between wisdom and intelligence."
– The Miami Herald
"Begley’s Impeccable Artistry Spins A Magical Web of shared consciousness not only for his characters, but for our time….Begley shows he is a consummate stylist."
– USA Today