Belly-laugh-inducing. Sam Lypsyte funny. Faulty-Towers funny.The silliness is anarchic and profound…a ripping story and a rowdy piece of art
New York Times
Hanif's storytelling is frequently impressive... touching and unusual
Faith Brinkley, Literary Review
Perhaps Pakistan's brightest English-language voice... Our Lady of Alice Bhatti is certainly not allegorical - it has too much unruly life of its own to fit smoothly into any neat political scheme - but it is somehow representative, broadly suggestive of the sad state of a nation... The novel is full of fine little touches that are never pushed too far... For too many writers the poor are grim decorations or zoological curiosities; Hanif, on the other hand, knows his way inside his characters, into their sexualities, fears, resentments and hopes. He transmits their complexities and their deadly simplicities. Their mouths, like his, constantly spill jokes, wittingly and unwittingly. This very finely put-together novel sparkles and glitters but never shows off. It's a comedy possessing the quality Calvino calls lightness, but it's deeper than it first appears... Hanif's novel is relentlessly readable, compulsively so as it surges towards its apocalyptic conclusion. The chapters, all written with the immediacy of the present tense, dance around in time without for a moment losing their coherence. And sometimes the prose attains the heights of poetry... Our Lady of Alice Bhatti is profoundly humane, and humanist
Robin Yassin-Kassab, Guardian
Our Lady of Alice Bhatti...confirms [Hanif] as one of the subcontinent's most compelling talents... Alice Bhatti's Karachi is so alive with sensations that you can smell the sewers, hear the screeching of tyres, and feel the humidity... [Hanif] may hold a mirror to a society marred by corruption, violence and injustice, and his humour can be savage, but Hanif finds the humanity in the most flawed of his protagonists and, in some unfathomable way, ends up affirming it. Unbelievable things happen, but in the finest tradition of magic realism - in a world that's shockingly imperfect - Hanif has you wishing they were true.
The 200 pages spent in Alice Bhatti's presence are distressing, illuminating and often funny... In this bold, uncompromising novel, Hanif draws a compassionate and despairing portrait of a nation in bedlam
Alice Albinia, Financial Times
Rambunctious, vulgar, funny and moving, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti wields enormous emotional punch, drawing on a far broader affective palette than Hanif's previous book, and succeeding in making every character credible, even the walk-on parts... The book does not delve into the cultural reasons behind the atrocious state of women's affairs in Pakistan, but it stills the running frame of the dominant culture, showing rather than telling or explaining - and being all the more powerful for that... Our Lady of Alice Bhatti is a stealthy book. Not until the end does the reader realize that the deft skewering of a social ill may have been Hanif's intention all along. This is largely because there are no characters who play to stereotype. The book is instead peopled with three-dimensional individuals, who live with their flaws and what life throws at them, improvising responses to extraordinary situations. Right now the world could do with more books that portray Pakistanis that way.
I am so gripped by what the book is trying to tell me that I cannot put it down. I am on a flight from Spain and I don't notice when the plane lands at Gatwick. When they try to empty the plane I am glued to my seat, reading, lost, but in a good way... This is a wonderful book about faith.
Melissa Kite, Spectator
Laced with prejudice and rumour which colour attitudes and complicates issues, this is an intriguing read.
Kaye Brien, Launceston Examiner
His vivid prose has tremendous immediacy
Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
Hanif sometimes brings to mind Evelyn Waugh at his sharpest (Vile Bodies, Scoop) but his insistent, brilliant, profoundly funny story-telling gives him the means to express outrage, while avoiding any consequences from the Gentlemen's Squad.
Gay Bilson, Byron Shire Echo, Byron Bay