Ned Beauman’s stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny and dangerously unsteady historical novel doesn’t even know what year it is.

West Berlin. Egon Loeser is looking back over his strange and eventful life, from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris. Two questions still gnaw away at him. Was it really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini? And, perhaps even more importantly, why can’t a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him ever just get laid?

The Man Booker Prize 2012
Published by
Publication date