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Paperback review: The Guard, By Peter Terrin


The Beckett-like circularity of Harry and Michel’s existence, working as guards in the basement of a luxury apartment block that they are never allowed to leave, gives us a new kind of hell in Terrin’s darkly comic, futuristic satire on the difference between a post-apocalyptic “elite” and those who are paid to protect them.

Harry and Michel imagine themselves to be supreme professionals of great importance, but “the organisation” that employs them barely keeps them alive. Things take a turn for the nastier when a third “guard” is dropped in on them, and the increasingly paranoid Harry decides he must be an enemy agent and sets about interrogating and torturing him.