James Lasdun was born in London in 1958. He currently lives in New York, where he worked as a Professor of creative writing at Princeton University. The beginning of the novel meets more stringent orthodoxy that, almost certainly, the author taught in their classes of literary creation. It’s a start that immediately arouses the curiosity of the reader and holds it before the book, slope of the course of history. Narrated in the first person, sometimes we find with narrative developments something Baroque (incidentally as praise) very well reflected by the excellent work of translation of Ramon of Spain.
Lasdun delves into the feelings of their characters, rather than on the behavior exhibited, describing as well, with clarity, the psychology that governs the actions of each of them. It is able to elaborate several pages in a trivial anecdote to try to express, without loopholes, the personality of the character in question. It transmits so solidity and security in storytelling. I.e., that the author is able to recount only what he wants tell us, without that history leaves you hands a single line. Set, mostly, in the Germany of the East during the last throes of the dictatorship, we must emphasize the protagonist the overwhelming description of everyday life in the countries of the Communist bloc. Without forgetting the sour criticism of the morality of buying and selling of Western countries. In the final stretch, Lasdun rounds off a sophisticated and surprising plot that has us stealthily crept throughout the novel.