Wolfgang Herrndorf: Sand
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A sophisticated literary thriller set during the cold war - an ambitious and brilliantly crafted story of murder, memory loss and nuclear secrets...
Somewhere in the North African desert, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out.
Elsewhere, four westerners are murdered in a hippy commune and a suitcase full of worthless currency goes missing. Enter a pair of very unenthusiastic detectives, a paranoid spy whose sanity has baked away in the sun, and a beautiful blonde American with a talent for being underestimated.
Sand is a gripping thriller - part Pynchon, part le Carré, part Coen brothers - an unsettling, caustically funny tale of pursuit and madness.
Born in 1965, Wolfgang Herrndorf originally worked as a painter and illustrator before starting to write novels. He had his literary breakthrough in 2010 with Tschick, which has sold more than a million copies in Germany. By this point he was already suffering from an incurable brain tumour. He continued to write for the next few years, completing Sand, which won the 2012 Leipzig Book Fair prize. He also documented his experiences of fighting his illness on a blog, Arbeit and Struktur, which was later published in book form. In 2013 he took his own life.