East Berlin provides the bleak landscape for this intriguing novel. The anonymous narrator’s exwife is in hospital with cancer, and the doctors can only treat her if the cause can be identified. Was it radiation? The narrator can help but only by going back to what happened over the course of a few days at his former workplace – traumatic events which have had a defining influence on his life and are likely to be the reason why he feels so isolated.
Themes of confusion and identity, change and conformity jostle with one another to reflect with skill the narrator’s inner turmoil