**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE**
Stefan Vogel, a young man growing up in the former East Germany, longs for love, glory and freedom - yearnings that express themselves in a lifelong fantasy of going to America. The hopeless son of an ambitious mother and a kind but unlucky diplomat, Stefan lurches between his budding, covert interests - girls and Romantic poetry - to find himself embroiled in dissident politics, which oddly seems to offer both.
In time, by a series of blackly comic and increasingly dangerous manoeuvres, he contrives to make his fantasy come true, finding himself not only in the country of his dreams, but also married to the woman he idolises. America seems everything he expected and meanwhile his secrets are safely locked away behind the Berlin Wall.
A new life of unbounded bliss seems to have been granted to him. And then that life begins to fall apart...
"A riveting, thrillerish plot. Here is a stylist who's also a fabulous storyteller... A treat"
"An elegant, moving and intelligent book"
"Gripping and beautifully written"
"Grips the reader from the start... Lean, artful, assured"