Schopenhauer's Telescope by Gerard Donovan

Schopenhauer's Telescope

Gerard Donovan

Two men in a field, one digs a hole and the other stands above him, watching and asking questions. As the afternoon unfolds we get to discover why they are there. I was gripped from page one, it's chilling and hypnotic. The book takes you on a journey into the history and philosophy of war and violence and at the centre there's a mystery which keeps you guessing right to the end.


'Genghis Khan?' The teacher's eyes widened. 'Did you say Genghis Khan? You know of him?'
'I have studied his ways for over a year. I have read every book in the library that bears his name, even on a single page.'
'Then answer me this: who was more evil, Mr Fievez or Genghis Khan?'
I smiled. 'The books I have gathered on him.'
The teacher took some rocks and made two piles.
'These are skulls,' he said. 'This is Genghis Khan's pile. Each rock is four million people. This is Fievez's pile. Each rock is a hundred people. Same amount of rocks on each side. Who is more evil?'
'Be careful,' I said. 'The rocks might fall into the hole and I'll have to lift them out again.'

  • Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka

Books with similar mood

The Association of Small Bombs

Karan Mahajan

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

The Shadow Walker

Michael Walters

Unreal City

Tony Hanania

My Name is Salma

Fadia Faqir

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

The Kills

Richard House

Silent House

Orhan Pamuk

The Explorer

James Smythe

The Godless Boys

Naomi Wood

The Warsaw Anagrams

Richard Zimler

The Sirens of Baghdad

Yasmina Khadra

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling


Eva-Marie Liffner

The Woman Who Knew Too Much

B Reece Johnson

Blood Red Rivers

Jean-Christophe Grangé

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa

Song for an Approaching Storm

Peter Fröberg Idling

Captain of the Steppe

Oleg Pavlov

The Unlucky Lottery

Hakan Nesser

The History of History

Ida Hattemer-Higgins

In a Strange Room

Damon Galgut

The Illusion of Return

Samir El-Youssef

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

The Portrait

Iain Pears

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

Without Blood

Alessandro Baricco

Falling Out of Cars

Jeff Noon


Valerie Martin

He Kills Coppers

Jake Arnott

Something Like a House

Sid Smith

Requiem for the East

Andrei Makine

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli


G X Todd

An Honorable Man

Paul Vidich


Jung Yun

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

I'm OK, I'm Pig

Kim Hyesoon

Gone to the Forest

Katie Kitamura

The Company Man

Robert Jackson Bennett

Legend of a Suicide

David Vann

The Quiet Twin

Dan Vyleta

Blind Sunflowers

Alberto Mendez

The Gift of Rain

Tan Twan Eng

The Backpacker's Father

Gunnar Kopperud


Mia Gallagher