By David Herman, June 6, 2008
By Hedi Kaddour (Trans: David Coward)
Harvill Secker, £20
Part spy-thriller, part novel of ideas, Hedi Kaddour’s huge, ambitious novel takes on the history of the 20th century, from the First World War to 1991. It tells the epic story of the dream of Communism and its failure through the lives of a group of French and German intellectuals, some of whom turn out to be spies. Being a French novel, though, it is as interested in discussing Flaubert and Marx as it is in espionage.