Emerging in its British translation at a moment of political turmoil with uncanny parallels to those it describes, Eric Vuillard’s Prix Goncourt-winning novel arrives on a wave of European critical acclaim. Told in staccato bursts and combining expertly researched real events with precisely imagined detail, it provides a unique and disconcerting perspective both on those who spearheaded Germany’s grim descent into war and on the fresh resonance of those moments today.
Our Fiction Book of the Month for October 2019
Winner of the 2017 Prix Goncourt
Eric Vuillard's gripping novel The Order of the Day tells the story of the pivotal meetings which took place between the European powers in the run-up to World War Two. What emerges is a fascinating and incredibly moving account of failed diplomacy, broken relationships, and the catastrophic momentum which led to conflict.
The titans of German industry - set to prosper under the Nazi government - gather to lend their support to Adolf Hitler. The Austrian Chancellor realizes too late that he has wandered into a trap, as Hitler delivers the ultimatum that will lay the groundwork for Germany's annexation of Austria. Winston Churchill joins Neville Chamberlain for a farewell luncheon held in honour of Joachim von Ribbentrop: German Ambassador to England, soon to be Foreign Minister in the Nazi government, and future defendant at the Nuremberg trials.
Suffused with dramatic tension, this unforgettable novel tells the tragic story of how the actions of a few powerful men brought the world to the brink of war.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 118 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 12 mm
'... a dazzling work of black comedy and political disaster.' - The Guardian
'... eerily resonant' - The Times
'Remarkable... It captures the bizarre blend of wishful thinking, clownish self-importance, and cold calculation that characterized many of the Nazis as powerful enablers.' - The New Yorker
'Gripping... The method of [The Order of the Day] is to peel away the veils of dissimulation, disguise and self-justification that conspire to make historical disasters appear as just the way things happen.' - The Wall Street Journal
'A chilling, gripping novel - it takes a number of key moments in the run-up to the Second World War and uses tremendous skill and verve to dramatize hours and minutes in which often quite ordinary men took decisions that would destroy whole nations.' - Simon Winder, author of Germania
'Offering us a seat at the jolly lunches and country retreats where a handful of men condemned their nations to unthinkable slaughter, The Order of the Day is a powerful warning that cowardice saves no one, not even the coward.' - Alex Christofi, author of Glass
'Beautifully and economically crafted... The Order of the Day is a stark examination of the price of silence, the cost of sticking to the rules to keep the peace, and the human toll when ruling elites not only go along to get along, but support the ravings of a violent and vengeful leader.' - Millions
'A book whose staggering power lies in its simplicity.' - Le Monde
'A powerful story you read in one go, with astonishment and dread.' - La Presse
Just brilliant... Vuillard shows what literature is capable of in its moments of greatness: a lightning-like transformation of a tired, old, and far too often told story into a shocking new narrative.' - Der Spiegel
'Brief and striking... history behind the scenes.' - L'Express'Snatched from oblivion, these scenes spring to life in our minds like a jack-in-the-box.' - Le Figaro Litteraire
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