Border State by Tonu Onnepalu

Border State

Tonu Onnepalu

Estonia's leading writer, who is well placed to observe the way former Eastern Europeans are sucked in by the excesses of the West and become emotionally crippled. Very lyrical.


Franz only had himself to blame, isn't that right, Angelo? I was thinking, why did he have to choose me? At that restaurant by the canal as I studied him from across the table (squinting my eyes, as if because of the sun). This elegant, intelligent Franz, who was greying at the temples but who still had a youthful body that he exercised, scented, pampered and dressed in smart, expensive clothes. It always reminded me of the mummy of that young pharoah we had gone together to see at the Louvre. Why did he choose me as his victim, when he could have chosen anyone, any beautiful boy or girl from among his students? I'm sure there are fools even today! But no, he chose me, an East European, because who else would have listened as reverently to his rebellious tirades?

  • Special Delivery by Iselin Herrman
  • Strawberry and Chocolate by Senel Paz

Books with similar mood

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

The Synapse Sequence

Daniel Godfrey

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling


Alan Trotter

Children of the Cave

Virve Sammalkorpi

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

The Machine

James Smythe

The Company Man

Robert Jackson Bennett

Black Juice

Margo Lanagan

The Scornful Moon

Maurice Gee

Confession of a Murderer Told in One Night

Joseph Roth

The Well of Trapped Words

Sema Kaygusuz

I'm OK, I'm Pig

Kim Hyesoon

The Honey Guide

Richard Crompton

Kingdom of Strangers

Zoe Ferraris


Patrick Flanery


Sarah Jackson


Taichi Yamada

The Life of Insects

Victor Pelevin

The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

Such Small Hands

Andrés Barba


Per Petterson

The Fall of the Stone City

Ismail Kadare

The Quiet Twin

Dan Vyleta

The Portrait

Iain Pears

The Housekeeper

Melanie Wallace

Follow Me to Ground

Sue Rainsford

Red Birds

Mohammed Hanif

Fever Dream

Samanta Schweblin

The Axeman's Jazz

Ray Celestin

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man

Nick Dybek

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Carrie Ryan

White is for Witching

Helen Oyeyemi


Mari Jungstedt

The Reverse Side of Life

Lee Seung-U

Living Nowhere

John Burnside


Ferdinand Mount

The Farming of Bones

Edwidge Danticat

My Name is Salma

Fadia Faqir

Empire of Sand

Tasha Suri

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture

Stuart Campbell

South of Centre

Andrea Carter


Philippe Grimbert

The Gift of Rain

Tan Twan Eng


Kitty Fitzgerald

Brixton Beach

Roma Tearne