I was on a bit of a reading slump when I came to The Truth and Other Lies by German screenwriter Sascha Arango, and it fed my slump to the dogs. That means it was good. The story was crazy, but crazy good.
Henry is a bestselling author who has not penned any of his own books. His life, and the delicate structure of lies that surrounds it, starts to unravel when his mistress becomes pregnant. I’ve not given anything away yet. It is at this point that things start to become weird.
Two interconnected themes run throughout the book: mistakes and the lies told to cover up the mistakes. And yet, I didn’t find the story at all predictable. Is Henry just caught up in the web of his own lies? Or is he a little unhinged and a truly scary individual?
Who would like this book? I think The Truth and Other Lies is going to be a crowd pleaser in the same vein as The Dinner by Herman Koch (review). For some reason, people from English speaking countries don’t read very much translated fiction. I know I’m often weary of clunky translations and heavy literary prose in which very little happens. That is not the case with books like The Dinner and The Truth and Other Lies. They are wonderful and compelling stories. I hope the success of these books will lead us to read more translated fiction and for the right stuff to make it to translation.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review consideration.
I enjoyed this too! Tore right through it.
Ooh. Thanks for this one. I love weird and unpredictable.
Seriously, I really liked it and tore through it. I have no idea how much notice it will get in Canada since it’s a translation, but it is so worth it.
This sounds great! I haven’t read The Dinner yet, but I’m intrigued by the comparison.
Leah, you have to read The Dinner. It will take a weekend at the most.
Oh my gosh – read The Dinner NOW!! It was so good!
Ha – you know you’ve got a good one when the pregnant mistress and career based on a lie aren’t even spoilers! I agree both this one and The Dinner were excellent translations…one of the things I loved about both was the writing and tone and it definitely held up to the translation.
This was a slump buster for me too 🙂
I think a lot of translations miss it on the tone. Either that or I don’t like the tone they were originally written in. The other thing is, different languages really do write things very differently.
Ooh I’m definitely intrigued, especially since I loved The Dinner last summer!
Okay okay I need to read The Dinner first. You’re the second person who’s said this one is also good crazy. thanks
Oh boy oh boy, you had me at “The story was crazy, but crazy good.” Your review makes this sound really intriguing and like it would be a perfect summer read!
I read this recently as well, and sadly, it just didn’t do it for me. Other people seemed to have really liked it, but I just couldn’t buy into the story or characters for some reason. Glad you enjoyed it thought 🙂
I love a dissenting view! But honestly, i can’t work for everyone. I don’t know why I found it so easy to buy into Henry, but it was the idea of a fake best selling author that drew me in.
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Oh man, I’m so glad you liked this book! I loved it too! Did you like the ending?! That alone would make this a great book club book.
Such a good book for book club!
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