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.