The Last Hundred Days
WINNER OF WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE 2012
WINNER OF THE 2012 WRITERS GUILD AWARD FOR 'BEST FICTION BOOK'
LONG-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2011
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE 2011 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOT PRIZE 2012
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE AUTHORS CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2012
"engaging" The New York Times Book Review
"stunning" The Times
"an assured performance" The Literary Review
"Sinister, comic and lyrical, it vividly captures the end of a long nightmare" i-newspaper
"...a coming-of-age story with a vivid historical backdrop..." Washington Post
"It's a brilliant first novel set in 1989, in the writhing demise of communist Bucharest - dark, immaculately written, bitterly lucid and very gripping." James Wood - New Statesman Book of the Year
"..engrossing debut novel..I defy anyone not to revel in 350-odd pages of it at least" Time Out Magazine ****
Book of the Month (June 2011) Buzz Magazine
"...the sardonic crispness and evocative power of its language distinguishes it from the run of contemporary fiction." Sean O'Brien, TLS
"The descriptions are moments of total stillness in the book, and it's spellbinding" We Love This Book Magazine
"The opening chapter is superb. McGuinness is an accomplished poet and writes with superb clarity. The novel is littered with aperçus that have the reader reaching for a pencil." The Independent
"McGuinness does a fantastic job of portraying the paranoia, corruption and chaos of the time..." Alternative Magazine Online
"...thoroughly enjoyable and profound" - Suzi Feay (The Tablet)
Oxford Times interview with Patrick - click here
Set during Ceausescu's last hundred days in power, Patrick McGuinness's accomplished debut novel explores a world of danger, repression and corruption.
When our narrator, a young English student with a damaged past and an uncertain future, arrives in Bucharest he finds himself in a job he never applied for. With duties that become increasingly ambiguous and precarious, he soon finds himself uncomfortably and often dangerously close to the eye of the storm. He learns, as he goes, the uncertainty of friendships in a surveillance society: friendships that are compromised and riddled with danger and duplicity. He encounters dissidents, party apparatchiks, black-markerteers, diplomats, spies and ordinary Romanians, their lives all intertwined against a background of severe poverty and repression as Europe's most paranoid regime plays out its bloody endgame.
The socialist state is in stasis, the shops are empty and old Bucharest vanishes daily under the onslaught of Ceausescu’s demolition gangs. Paranoia is pervasive and secret service men lurk in the shadows.