What I'm Reading
Time, history, perception and the recreation of the Beatles' Abbey Road photograph,
A history student is on his way to East Berlin in the old communist state of East Germany in 1988 to bury the ashes of his father. Before he goes he poses for a picture for his artistic girlfriend on Abbey Road, the famous zebra crossing outside the recording studios used by the Beatles.
The story begins with an accident on Abbey Road, where the student is hit by a car. His injuries appear minor and he goes to East Germany anyway. He meets several people who have an impact on his life in one way or another. As the story unfolds, nobody or anything is as it seems. For quite a while the tale seems to ramble aimlessly. Until it slowly registers that some things do not make sense. At the end of the book a single event reveals why things have appeared not quite right, and by doing so, opens up a completely new perception.
A clever novel that requires observation and delicious thought a long time after the story is told. Intriguing, layered and a bit weird and longlisted for the Booker Prize, this work should have made the shortlist. Recommended.
Published by Penguin Books (UK) Hamish Hamilton on 29 August 2019. Advanced review copy supplied by the publisher.