'She was always in many places at once, invested deeply in a hundred different notions, and of all the things I liked about Saskia that was the thing I liked most'
One snowy morning in an old European capital, a man wakes in a hotel room. A young local woman he has befriended calls to the hotel, and the two of them head out into the snow to find the man an apartment to rent.
Greg Baxter's astonishing first novel tells the story of these two people on this day - and the old stories that brought them to where they are. Its magically subtle and intense narrative takes them across the frozen city and into the past that the man is hoping to escape, and leaves them at the doorstep of an uncertain future. The Apartment is a book about war, the relationship between America and the rest of the world, and the brittle foundations of Western culture; but above all it is a book about the mysteries and alchemies of friendship - truthful, moving and brilliant.
Admirable for its scope, ambition and unashamed seriousness of purpose, as well as its willingness to take stylistic and structural risks (Julie Myerson Observer )
A wonderful, horrible, wise novel ( Dazed & Confused (Book of the Month) )
Stunningly good (Susan Jeffreys Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4 )
Imagine you're on a roller-coaster ... suddenly, without warning, it tips vertiginously, so quickly that your chest constricts and while you're there, suspended, momentarily, at the apex of this roller-coaster, you're aware suddenly of a kind of clarity, a totally new perspective on everything below. Greg Baxter's The Apartment is a bit like this ... Full of unshowy wisdom and surprising moments of beauty ( Sunday Telegraph )
Baxter's superbly elegant, understated writing explores the dynamics of America's relationship with the rest of the world ( The Times )
His protagonist is not merely struggling beneath the weight of the violence in his own life story; he grapples with the larger sense of history that infuses the text with an effect that recalls WG Sebald. ... There's a maturity to The Apartment not often found in debut novels. (Lucy Scholes The Independent )
Exceptional - a book rich in ideas and poetry. Its power is accumulative and it moves with a calm and yet inevitable progress. It is a deeply mysterious and admirable book. (Hisham Matar )
The Apartment is a small novel - but it's actually huge. Clever, entertaining, brave; it stretches the rules while following a man through one day of his life. I loved it. (Roddy Doyle )
An interesting, honourable novel (James Lasdun The Guardian )
The Apartment is a wonderfully beguiling novel, evoking to perfection that sense of eerie possibility one has when in a strange city. Its account of a new friendship poised on the edge of love is superbly sure-footed. (Adam Thorpe )
Beautiful. Magnificent. Heartbreaking. Greg Baxter is a true original. (Ian Sansom )
A stunning book - beautifully constructed, elegantly written and deeply felt (Stuart Evers )
The Apartment is a mesmerising story of lostness, friendship and dwelling. Both breathtaking and hauntingly beautiful, Greg Baxter's first novel is as crisp and joyful as freshly fallen snow. (Lee Rourke )
A writer of considerable gifts ... Baxter, who now lives in Berlin, is so good at conjuring up the atmosphere of his chilly and crowded city (probably Eastern European and probably fictional) and the character of its inhabitants that you come to feel that you're living there among them in their noisy, bustling cafes and their freezing thoroughfares. ... Baxter shows mastery, too, in his vividly realised characters, especially the charming Saskia ( Irish Independent )
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