The Birthday Party by Panos Karnezis

The Birthday Party

Panos Karnezis

Despite being the story of one man's long and prosperous life, set in one location during a single day, this book jumps backwards and forwards in time, has a wealth of supporting characters and travels the world. Even though I found this a very strange book to read, and I didn’t warm to any particular character, I am surprised at how I am still thinking about it days after finishing it.


Once the island was his, he set about finding the best location for his villa, a tireless search that lasted several days. Finally he stood on a slope above the cove of his island, took off his dark glasses and studied the view for a long time. The water carried over the sound of the waves breaking at the bottom of the cove ... He lit a cigar and smoked it against the wind, looking at the mainland in the distance with the stern eye of a wooden Neptune at the bow of a ship. When he finished smoking, he said: 'Here.'

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