Praise for Balchin while he was alive:

“A writer of genius.” — John Betjeman, unattributed

“Mr Balchin can tell an exciting story as well as any novelist alive.” — Monica Dickens, Sunday Chronicle, 1945

“Never lets the reader down.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Tatler, 1955

“…one of a very few English novelists capable of writing about a wide area of English life.” – Roy Fuller, The Times Literary Supplement, 1966

“No one was quite so expert as Mr. Balchin in catching the uprooted and jittery attitudes of the not-so-young generation just after the war, and packaging them into a sleek narrative skin.” – The Times, 1959

“Mr. Balchin is a writer of such considerable and varied gifts […] he is certainly one of the most intelligent novelists now writing.” – Time and Tide, 1944

“A remarkable storyteller.” — Peter Quennell, Daily Mail, 1951

“Mr. Balchin is a brilliant novelist.” — Henry Reed, New Statesman, 1945

“One of the hopes of British novel-writing.” — John Betjeman, Daily Herald, 1945

“Mr. Balchin has the Kipling touch.” – Sunday Chronicle, 1949

“…he tells a story gloriously…” – Pamela Hansford Johnson, Daily Telegraph, 1949

“Probably no other novelist of Mr. Balchin’s value is so eminently and enjoyably readable.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Tatler, 1949

“Mr. Balchin is a writer of real skill […] He has established a firm monopoly on his peculiar but admirable territory.” — Philip Toynbee, New Statesman, 1943

“He can always be relied on to give us the set-up magnificently.” – John Raymond, BBC, 1953

“…Mr. Balchin has done so much to raise the standard of the popular novel…” – Julian Maclaren Ross, The Times Literary Supplement, 1953

“…his characters have only to open their mouths to reveal a personality.” – L. P. Hartley, Sketch, 1945

“…perhaps the most successful British author to emerge during the war…” – Saturday Evening Post, 1950

” “Mine Own Executioner” is a triumphant success–the kind of success that makes one want to clap.” – L. P. Hartley, Sketch, 1945

“It has so much wit, brilliance, penetration and sheer enjoyableness that I should go on reading for ever, if it went on for ever.” – review of A Sort of Traitors in The Illustrated London News, 1949

“Sundry Creditors is literature, at least in the sense of being immediately and lastingly readable. Balchin has the rare magnetic power that draws the human eye from one sentence to the next.” – Evening Standard, 1953

Praise for Balchin since his death in 1970:

“A little masterpiece like Nigel Balchin’s The Small Back Room speaks to our own time, but with so much literary experience behind it.” – Shirley Hazzard, 2005

“To some good judges, Balchin, rather than C. P. Snow, was the novelist of men at work.” — Guardian, 1970

“The missing writer of the Forties.” — Clive James, New Review, 1974

“Balchin writes about timeless things, the places in the heart.” — Ruth Rendell, Sunday Telegraph, 1990

“This inexplicably neglected author…” — Christina Koning, The Times, 2005

“Balchin has been absurdly overlooked for too long.” — Julian Fellowes, 2004

“I’d place him up there with Graham Greene…” – Philippa Gregory, 2005

“Balchin’s professional skill gives a meaning to brilliance which the word doesn’t usually possess.”— Clive James, New Review, 1974

“…one of the best writers, and certainly one of the best stylists, to come out of the war years.” – Michael Powell, 1986

Darkness Falls from the Air [has] the most perfect ending of any story I’ve ever read.” – Patrick McGrath, 2008

“…The Small Back Room, is, if not a small masterpiece, at any rate close to being one.” – C. J. Driver, 2009

“…if a whole era’s most unjustly neglected literary tendency [i.e. workplace novels] is to be revived and properly estimated, Balchin is undoubtedly the place to start.” – Clive James, The Times Literary Supplement, 2016

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