Christine Smallwood writes:
The Group is sometimes accused of being ‘vicious’; in knife-like prose it describes the way unconventionality becomes, or reveals itself as, convention. It measures the distance between the dreams of a younger self and the betrayals of adulthood, with its new dreams – some vibrant, some pallid. The black comedy of The Group comes from the characters’ lack of self-awareness, their bad judgment, their blind hypocrisy. Honest readers may conclude that they are not so very different themselves; when the feeling of superiority wears off, satire occasionally gives rise to sympathy.