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The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis

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1942, every day the trains arrive bringing Jews for the gas chambers or slave labour. We witness the terrible events through the eyes of the German commanders and a Jew who worked for them. Amis is seeking answers to unanswerable questions. How was evil on such a systematic and vast scale ever possible? And to what extent and why did the Jews cooperate in their own slaughter? Amis plays it straight. His previous holocaust novel, Time's Arrow, was tricky and experimental (with time running backwards); this is a conventional narrative, anchored in history and as such is a very serious book. It is masterly writing on an important subject. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Martin Amis you might also like to read books by Ned Beauman, Tobias Hill and John Boyne.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The sheer scale of the Holocaust and the extent of the depravity meted out by the perpetrators of Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ remains too horrible, too unbelievable to fully comprehend. In the absence of a rational explanation, Amis has taken a leaf from Primo Levi’s The Truce and dared to create a Kafkaesque satire on the perversity of human nature. It focuses on a fictional Nazi commandant and his rival, a nephew of Martin Bormann, as they vie for the affections of the former’s wife and deliberate the routine business of the death factory that remains tactfully off screen. Audacious, acerbic, highly perceptive, blackly humorous, occasionally moving, and quite brilliant.
~ Paul Roland


The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis

This book is shortlisted for the 2015 Walter Scott Prize. Surely his masterpiece...Intelligent, terrifying and comic...Amis has tackled the biggest questions with imagination and intelligence, and the ultimate strength of this masterly novel is that he knows, and shows, that although there is no answer to the questions Auschwitz poses, we must never stop asking them. Read it, ponder it - revel in it indeed - then read it again. (Allan Massie, Scotsman). There was an old story about a king who asked his favourite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn't show you your reflection. Instead, it showed you your soul - it showed you who you really were. But the king couldn't look into the mirror without turning away, and nor could his courtiers. No one could. What happens when we discover who we really are? And how do we come to terms with it? Fearless and original, The Zone of Interest is a violently dark love story set against a backdrop of unadulterated evil, and a vivid journey into the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

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About the Author

Martin Amis

Martin Amis is the author of ten novels, two collections of stories and six collections of non-fiction. He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th May 2015


Martin Amis

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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