"Butler's first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning 'A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain', 'The Whisper' is nothing less than a meditation on the spiritual nature of sexuality - its mystical power and its deep connection to death. In this, it is closer to the spirit of Blake than to that of Joyce, though its style is deliberately Joycean.
Like all fundamentalists, Ira allows no together god. His incantations have the rhythmic repetition of long prayers . . . And Ira, while singing out his joy in sexual encounters with the prostitutes of Vietnam, or in his erotic tableaux of actual and imagined lovers, embodies that notion of the ecstatic.
Real life slips away when Ira contemplates his goddess, who - whatever her shape, race or age - is always Aphrodite" - 'Washington Post'