Paperback: The Keep, by Jennifer Egan

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The Independent Culture

Danny is a damaged 36-year-old New Yorker, who doesn't like to go anywhere that isn't Wi-Fi compatible. Against his better judgement, he finds himself travelling to "Austria, Germany or the Czech Republic" to help his enigmatic cousin, Howard, turn a medieval castle into a speciality hotel. Having set the stage, Egan unleashes a complex and deeply creepy series of events that tip Danny into a paranoiac funk. While some threads of this sophisticated work verge on the fantastical, others are grounded in a recognisable reality. A novel boobytrapped with metafictional tricks and trap doors, it makes traditional gothic tales look positively homely in comparison. H

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