Roman Clodia's Reviews > The Capital

The Capital by Robert Menasse
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really liked it

There's something very European about this novel which exudes a sensibility that a British novelist just doesn't have. Partly it's stylistic, the mix of satire, farce and something more serious epitomized by the PR campaign to make Auschwitz the heart of the EC jubilee: an idea both grotesque and yet, oddly, moving as the European project for supranational unity was launched in the wake of the Holocaust and the devastation of WW2.

Menasse has a sharp eye for career bureaucrats and creaking processes but never loses his sense of perspective and fun. The ensemble cast and the weaving connections between them keep us on our toes but there's affection here, too, and a fundamental belief in democracy as challenging but build on a commitment to discussion and debate rather than the flouncing-off-in-a-huff that is Brexit.

The assassin plot strand seems to have wandered in from another book and the whole thing could be tightened up - but beneath the fun is an important issue about the goodwill of the European project, where it came from and what it means still. What a shame then that some of us will merely be watching from the side lines...
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 26, 2019 – Shelved

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