David Szalay seems to ask: what is important to a man? All that man is should be the answere, and it is quite depressing: men’s life is about sex, money and work.
The author proposes ten stories, each with a different protagonist and each older than the previous one, from the two young adults having an interrail vacation in East Europe to the old English politician counsellor in his Italian home.
All the protagonists of the stories are away from home, and this allows the author to talk about different EU features: the luxury prostitution in London, the real estate operation in France to attract foreign buyers, the rich Russian enterpreneurs, the consequences of a political scandal in Denmark (a politician ruined because he’s having and affair with a married woman, being an Italian I’m totally #notimpressed).
Each man is shown during an introspective moment of his life, due to either an external cause (work change / loss, love issues,…) or to the old age that makes everyone more wise.
The stories are nice, but I think it’s not a novel, also becuse the lack of link between the stories (only the first and the last one have some common elements).
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
* All That Man Is by David Szalay ★★★☆☆½
*I read this book in english