Reinhard Jirgl’s strikingly individual novel The Fire Above, the Mountain Below demonstrates that he is not only unorthodox in his approach to language, but also difficult to pin down in terms of any genre. Weaving together elements of crime story, Cold War espionage, family tragedy, and a dystopian future, he creates a tapestry of fragile humanity and menacing inhumanity. The investigation of a series of gruesome killings takes a detective inspector into explorations of a secret intelligence programme in former East Germany and the role of a family with a tragic history. The more is uncovered, the more disorienting it becomes, and the reader is drawn into a complex web of discovery and suppression. show more
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