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Literary proof that size ain’t everything – this slim novella follows an unnamed narrator having a major philosophical crisis. Newly arrived in New York and miles from his girlfriend, he analyses every gesture, mannerism and utterance made by himself or others, and he’s exhausted. It’s darkly funny while remaining hopeful, and its German title translates as The Reassuring Sound of Exploding Kerosene (go figure). Style-wise, it reminded me of Ben Lerner – that same detached humour and wicked way with words.

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