Mathias Énard, winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt, writes propulsive, far-ranging prose. His long, snaking sentences are nuanced history lessons disguised as fiction. Erudite and melancholic Viennese musicologist Franz Ritter, in the throes of yet another sleepless night, surrenders to the merciless fun house mirrors of memory. Memories, specifically, of the elusive, intoxicating Sarah, but in a larger sense, memories of the fraught and multivalent tensions between Europe and the Middle East. Fans of W.G. Sebald or Anne Carson should not miss Énard's opium dreamscape. -John— From Spring Booknotes 2017
On the shortlist for the 2017 International Man Booker Prize.