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In this gripping fable, a young man on an aimless journey crosses a border into a world of unexplained threats and terrifying violence.
Drawing readers in with a cool, oddly appealing bluntness, the narrator of The Society of Others launches a disturbingly surreal tale of his adventures in an unnamed country somewhere in Eastern Europe. His plan is to hitchhike through Europe without any destination, but like a character in a Kafka novel, he finds himself confronting a world that defies rational explanation and descending into an orgy of violence that threatens to destroy his power to control his identity.
Written with a pace and thrust of a thriller, The Society of Others is a stunning intellectual adventure, a moral fable bursting with art, poetry, music, and profound philosophical insight.
"This is a novel I would dearly love to have written yet one whose message is an antidote for envy. It is exciting, funny, wise, and beautifully written."
—Piers Paul Read, author of Alive
"This extraordinary book, a sort of wild combination of Kafka and The Catcher in the Rye, whirls with its catatonically dysfunctional hero into a maelstrom of violence and danger to learn from oppressed strangers what really matters in a human life, and to face the most terrifying of interrogators, the self. The reader will not escape unchanged."
—Jill Paton Walsh
"It’s a challenge as well as a pleasure, but The Society of Others is a novel that demands attention. William Nicholson is someone we are going to hear a good deal more about."
—Peter Stanford, author of Heaven: A Guide to the Undiscovered Country
"It is thrilling in every sense, but it is also hypnotic, fast-moving, and intellectually challenging, as it twists and turns, leaving you confused, uncertain, even uncomfortable, and yet utterly hooked. A philosophical master class, it is quite staggeringly good."
—Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail