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Janet MaslinThough the women in Oscar's life are anything but amicable at the start of The Great Man, the book follows them through "a nice little volley of overdue spats and tantrums," as Teddy puts it. And Ms. Christensen does a funny, astute job of pulling the wool from their eyes. In a lesser novel these plot developments could easily occur in mechanical, sitcom fashion, but The Great Man is as unexpectedly generous as it is entertaining. Instead of milking the old feuds, it allows them to dissipate. Its real emphasis is not on Oscar's legacy but on the ways in which these women escape his shadow…Among Ms. Christensen's works The Great Man is a gentler book than The Epicure's Lament. (Her others are Jeremy Thrane and In the Drink.) It's also a wise and expansive one, and it allows its characters to flourish in unexpectedly rewarding ways.
—The New York Times