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Books

Philip Hensher’s latest novel is a State of the Soul book

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

15 February 2020

9:00 AM

A Small Revolution in Germany Philip Hensher

Fourth Estate, pp.324, £14.99

This is a very nuanced and subtle novel by Philip Hensher, which manages the highwire act of treating its characters with affection and anger at one and the same time. Politically, ethically and emotionally it places the reader in a kind of vertigo by addressing a singular moral question: is it better to be steadfast to your principles or to change tack as history twists?

The narrator is ‘Spike’, whom we first meet when he is 16 at the school assembly — featuring a recruiting officer who is blind-sided by one of the pupils.

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