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Dinner at the Center of the Earth Summary and Reviews

Dinner at the Center of the Earth

by Nathan Englander

Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander X
Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander
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  • Published Sep 2017
    272 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

The best work yet from the Pulitzer finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges - a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.

A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel's most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner's existence.

From these vastly different lives Nathan Englander has woven a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined - a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong - who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?

A tour de force from one of America's most acclaimed voices in contemporary fiction.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Appealing... Clever, fragmented, pithy... Englander is a wise observer with an empathetic heart." - Publishers Weekly

"Equal parts political thriller and tender lamentation, the latest from Englander explores, in swirling, nonlinear fashion, Israeli-Palestinian tensions and moral conflicts… Ultimately, Englander suggests that shared humanity and fleeting moments of kindness between jailer and prisoner, spy and counterspy, hold the potential for hope, even peace." - Booklist

"Smart and intriguing but not always satisfying, perhaps better in its parts than in the whole, this is a near-miss from an important writer still worth your time." - Library Journal

"An uneasy blend of political intrigue, absurdity, and romance struggles to establish a steady, never mind believable, tone." - Kirkus

"Nathan Englander's latest is, as usual, superb: a work of psychological precision and moral force, with an immediacy that captures both timeless human truth as well as the perplexities of the present day." - Colson Whitehead

This information about Dinner at the Center of the Earth was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Nathan Englander Author Biography

Photo: Elena Seibert

Nathan Englander's most recent novel is kaddish.com, out March 26, 2019. He is also the author of the Dinner at the Center of the Earth, the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, as well as the internationally bestselling story collection For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, and the novel The Ministry of Special Cases (all published by Knopf/Vintage). He was the 2012 recipient of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for What We Talk About. His short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Post, as well as The O. Henry Prize Stories and numerous editions of The Best American Short Stories, including 100 Years of the Best ...

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Other books by Nathan Englander at BookBrowse
  • The Ministry of Special Cases jacket
  • For The Relief of Unbearable Urges jacket

5 more...

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