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The Capital

The Capital

“A deliciously vicious – and timely – satire about the E.U. and the meaning of Europe today” – Frederick Studemann, Financial Times

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?

The Capital is a brilliantly entertaining satire, a crime story, a comedy of manners . . . and a wild pig chase. It tells the tale of a continent, a city and its inhabitants as they navigate their way through the confusing tangle of 21st-century life.

A “House of Cards” for the E.U. Commission – Winner of the German Book Prize

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Fiction: Special Features / Fiction In Translation

On Sale: 21st February 2019

Price: £15

ISBN-13: 9780857058621


A traditional novel, broadshouldered, omniscient, almost Balzac-ian, but with terrorism part of a plot centered satirically around an all-too-plausible Brussels idea.
New York Times
An elegantly written, brilliantly constructed novel, full of discussion points and ideas
Die Zeit
A major jubilee project is planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the EU commission. Menasse develops his sophisticatedly constructed story, in which nothing is random, around the preparations
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The politically engaged intellectual proves himself to be an uncompromising and indeed passionate storyteller. A storyteller, moreover, who handles his material so confidently and with such ease that you swiftly forget the complexities of the figures he describes. After almost 500 pages you are astonished to have already come to the end
Süddeutsche Zeitung
A deliciously vicious - and timely - satire about the E.U. and the meaning of Europe today
Financial Times
Menasse has a finely tuned satirical ear that easily criss-crosses borders . . . an intelligently written, pacy novel whose wide-ranging narratives ensure the momentum never wavers . . . Robert Menasse has produced an extraordinary piece of work
New European
[An] ambitious panorama that arrives amid the throes of Brexit and the Chinese Year of the Pig. Intelligent, fun, sad, insightful - an exceptional work.
Kirkus Reviews
A thoroughly entertaining fiction that serves both as a sort of campus satire and a novel of ideas . . . Menasse packs his Brussels with sharply-etched types . . . With its zest, pace and wit, Jamie Bulloch's translation serves him splendidly.
The Capital is a mischievous yet profound story about storytelling; about the art of shaping a narrative by finding resonances in the messy stuff of life . . . [An] unexpectedly delightful book about Brussels.