‘When you’re dead, I figure you can quit adjusting to other people, but until then life is all about adjusting.’ So reflects Arnon Grunberg, as he finds himself high-fiving an elderly drug-dealer and her husband in a Las Vegas hotel room (‘We use it before sex’). Bizarre, garrulous, self-confident, often desperately lonely; such is the variety of characters Grunberg meets – in Amsterdam or New York – it’s thanks only to this ability to adjust, and quietly tune in, that we’re able to share so many private worlds, or be moved by the most fleeting encounters.
Read alsoArmchair Murder
How well do you know your best friend? Will you be best friends forever? Do you know your best friend’s taste in food or music? How about her taste in men? Fallon Striker thought she knew her best friend Rose Wyne until she was accused of her murder. Fallon must prove she didn’t kill her best friend and as she does, she discovers things about Rose…
From the rich widow blowing her husband’s fortune on slot machines because she ‘doesn’t believe in an afterlife’, to the language student telling of her arrival in America under the hood of a truck, Grunberg moves effortlessly between worlds. Be it cynical high society New York, claustrophobic family arguments back in Amsterdam, or simply small-talking with waiters in the people-watching capital of the world, Grunberg steals glimpses deep into the most guarded of lives, sharing moments of joy and absurdity at every turn.
The perfect appetiser for a major, emerging voice.
'Deadpan, offbeat, quirkily comic but steeped in loneliness' - The Independent, 20 March
‘The wit and sardonic intelligence that shine through Arnon Grunberg’s prose make it a continual pleasure to read.’ – J.M. Coetzee on The Jewish Messiah
‘A literary treat’ – Hans Warren, Rotterdams Dagblad