THE PRIZE-WINNING SATIRICAL BESTSELLER FROM THE ACCLAIMED ROBERT MENASSE
MORE THAN 500,000 COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
A "HOUSE OF CARDS" FOR THE EU
This is the tale of a continent, a city and its inhabitants as they navigate their way through the confusing tangle of 21st-century life. The Capital is a brilliantly entertaining satire, a crime story, a comedy of manners . . . and a wild pig chase.
"First-class satire" Guardian"
"A deliciously vicious and timely satire" Financial Times
"Mischievous yet profound" Economist
"Thoroughly entertaining" Spectator
"A romp" Politico
Brussels. A hive of tragic heroes, manipulative losers, involuntary accomplices. No wonder the European Commission is keen to improve its image.
The fiftieth anniversary of the European Commission approaches, and the Directorate-General for Culture is tasked with organising an appropriate celebration. When Fenia Xenopoulou's assistant comes up with a plan to put Auschwitz at the very centre of the jubilee, she is delighted. But she has neglected to take the other E.U. institutions into account.
Meanwhile the city is on the lookout for a runaway pig. And what about the farmers who take to the streets to protest against restrictions blocking the export of pigs to China?
See what the critics are saying about The Capital:
"Omniscient" New York Times
"An exceptional work" Kirkus Reviews
"Deliciously witty" Metro
"Elegant... brilliantly constructed" Die Zeit
"Robert Menasse is pioneering the genre of Eurolit" Financial Times
WINNER OF THE GERMAN BOOK PRIZE 2017
Menasse's witty but humane satire, his English-language fiction debut (after Enraged Citizens, European Peace and Democratic Deficits), follows a sprawling, multinational cast grappling with the realities of European Union bureaucracy. Greek Fenia Xenapoulou detests her post as an executive of the budgetless, much-maligned culture department of the European Commission. She launches a desperate, determined effort for reassignment by proving herself with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Commission. Austrian Martin Susman, in a feverish haze after a visit to Auschwitz, proposes centering the concentration camp as the birthplace of the European Union, while his brother who inherited the family's pig farm pressures him to improve the negotiating power of pig farmers with China. Meanwhile, Brussels police inspector mile Brunfaut tries to discover why his murder investigation is being officially squashed by his superiors, and Polish seminarian-turned-assassin Ryszard Oswiecki realizes his victim (and focus of Brunfaut's murder investigation) was the wrong person. Other characters include Auschwitz survivor David de Vriend, who mourns the diminishing number of fellow survivors, and Austrian professor Alois Erhart, who grows frustrated with his new think tank colleagues and their conservative goals. All the characters bumble through bureaucratic meddling, language differences, and competing ambitions toward an open-ended yet rewarding conclusion. The massive cast never becomes unwieldy thanks to Menasse's delightful prose. This epic, droll account of contemporary Europe will be catnip for fans of mosaic novels and comical political machinations.