Clark Collis
October 01, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Zone of Interest

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Martin Amis
publisher
Knopf
genre
Historical Fiction

We gave it a B+

This latest work from the U.K. author is a lusty and often comic novel set among the German overseers of an Auschwitz-like concentration camp (or, as it is referred to here, ”Kat Zet”). Offended by that concept? You have every right to be. To borrow a line of dialogue from one character as he looks at the flames emerging from the funnels of crematories, ”An unsympathetic observer might find all this rather reprehensible.” But The Zone of Interest is no mere act of autumnal provocation from the onetime enfant terrible of British literature. It is an ultimately serious and diligently researched work with a streak of deadpan humor that reframes, and reemphasizes, the horror at hand. B+

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