The Zone of Interest (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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NOW AN ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNING MAJOR MOTION PICTURE AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR From one of the most virtuosic authors in the English language: a powerful novel, written with urgency and moral force, that explores lifeand love—among the Nazi bureaucrats of Auschwitz.

"A masterpiece.... Profound, powerful and morally urgent.... A benchmark for what serious literature can achieve." —San Francisco Chronicle
Martin Amis first tackled the Holocaust in 1991 with his bestselling novel Time's Arrow. He returns again to the Shoah with this astonishing portrayal of life in "the zone of interest," or "kat zet"the Nazis' euphemism for Auschwitz. The narrative rotates among three main characters: Paul Doll, the crass, drunken camp commandant; Thomsen, nephew of Hitler's private secretary, in love with Doll's wife; and Szmul, one of the Jewish prisoners charged with disposing of the bodies. Through these three narrative threads, Amis summons a searing, profound, darkly funny portrait of the most infamous place in history. 
An epilogue by the author elucidates Amis's reasons and method for undertaking this extraordinary project.

About the Author

MARTIN AMIS is the author of 15 novels—among them Zone of Interest, London Fields, Time’s Arrow, The Information, and Night Train—along with the memoir Experience, the novelized self-portrait Inside Story, two collections of stories, and seven nonfiction books. He died in 2023.

Praise For…

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, NPR, The Village Voice, The Miami Herald, Financial Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, BookRiot

“I was riveted by Martin Amis’s The Zone of Interest, with its daring projection into the mind and ‘heart’ of a character . . . It felt like a fitting way to spy on historical events that are impossible to look at but that must, nevertheless, always be kept in sight.” —John Colapinto, The New Yorker

“Engrossing. . . . Rich in black comedy.” Chicago Tribune

“Elegant and subtle. . . . An intriguing, sophisticated effort to understand the daily culture of genocide.” Los Angeles Times

“[A] serious and diligently researched work with a streak of deadpan humor that reframes, and reemphasizes, the horror at hand.” Entertainment Weekly

“Powerful and electric.... A book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.” —NPR
“This is a novel that will endure.... A novel whose adventurousness is at the level of its ethical register, its attempt ...  to imagine the unimaginable.” The Guardian (London)
“A tour de force of sheer verbal virtuosity, and a brilliant, celestially upsetting novel inspired by no less than a profound moral curiosity about human beings.” —Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sportswriter
“Signature Amis at his most inventive.... It is precisely through such inspired and irreverent fluency that his dead-serious purpose is realized.” The Washington Post

The Zone of Interest harrows in the true sense of the word, churning up our preconceptions and assumptions. It is a work of artistic courage, chilling comedy and incontestable moral seriousness.” Financial Times

“Heartbreaking.... [Amis is] a virtuosically vivid writer.” The Atlantic
“His finest so far.... Astonishing.... A tragicomic moral blowtorch worthy of Swift.” The Daily Beast

“Compelling.... Harrowingly effective.” Slate

“Returning to the Holocaust—the subject of Time’s Arrow, still among [Amis’s] best books—Amis seems greatly energized, addressing the most serious theme with rigour, sophistication, and, most astonishingly, wit.” The Village Voice

“[Amis] is still the scourge of cliché and the supreme man of letters. . . . Dazzl[es] us once more with verbal dexterity and gutsy inventiveness.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[A] pulverizing novel about identity and humanity. . . in equal measure funny and crushing, with emphasis on how chaos and mass psychosis act on the souls living through it.” The Miami Herald

“Moving. . . . Genius. . . . Capture[s] that contrast between frivolity and horror with elegance and irony.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“An important book—relentless, excoriating, blisteringly well-written. . . . Mr. Amis is one of our most accomplished writers. . . . Fiercely sharp-witted, his writing has the capacity to be so unique and dexterous as to create the impression he works from some higher alphabet than the rest of us.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Exceptionally brave. . . . An extended rumination, a nightmare. . . . It’s exciting; it’s alive; it’s more than slightly mad. As the title suggests, it’s dreadfully interesting.”The Sunday Times

“Displays both restraint and humanity. . . . Takes on themes of immense gravity. . . . Martin Amis isn’t new to the business of turning the horrors of history into fiction, but he has never done so more thoughtfully than in this disquieting novel. . . . He has confronted its challenges with honour and delicacy.” The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“As good as anything Amis has written since London Fields (1989), and one he obviously felt compelled to write. He has done his subject justice.” The Spectator

“Highly cerebral and innovative, and also human, humane—even humbling—this is a brave, inquiring work from a literary maverick whose biggest problem as an artist has been his rampaging talent. He has certainly harnessed it here.” The Irish Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804172899
ISBN-10: 0804172897
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Vintage International