All That Man Is
Nine men. Each of them at a different stage in life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving-in the suburbs of Prague, in an overdeveloped Alpine village, beside a Belgian motorway, in a dingy Cyprus hotel-to understand what it means to be alive, here and now. Tracing a dramatic arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, the ostensibly separate narratives of All That Man Is aggregate into a picture of a single shared existence, a picture that interrogates the state of modern manhood while bringing to life, unforgettably, the physical and emotional terrain of an increasingly globalized Europe. And so these nine lives form an ingenious and new kind of novel, in which David Szalay expertly plots a dark predicament for the twenty-first-century man.Dark and disturbing, but also often wickedly and uproariously comic, All That Man Is is notable for the acute psychological penetration Szalay brings to bear on his characters, from the working-class ex-grunt to the pompous college student, the middle-aged loser to the Russian oligarch. Szalay is a writer of supreme gifts-a master of a new kind of realism that vibrates with detail, intelligence, relevance, and devastating pathos.
Winner of Gordon Burn Prize 2016. Shortlisted for Gordon Burn Prize 2016 and Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2016.
"David Szalay pushed at the fault lines between the novel and short story form in All That Man Is linked tales of European masculinity in crisis, whose effect is monumentally bleak, but which contain some of the best prose to be found in English this year." -- Justine Jordan Guardian Books of the Year "Szalay's writing is exact and true and always subtly intelligent; this book is bracing and thrilling and chilling." -- Tessa Hadley "It's a rare and wonderous event when a novel changes the way you look at the world around you; and this was the case with [All That Man Is]... A worthy winner of the Gordon Burn Prize this year. Gordon Burn would have loved it. Say no more." -- William Boyd New Statesman, Book of the Year "There is everything to relish about this intelligent, moving, thoroughly European search for the meaning of life ... It's hard to imagine reading a better book this year." -- Melissa Katsoulis Times "This feels like a great novel driven by its overarching theme: what is my life, here and now, all about? ... Rarely has it been so brilliantly and chillingly spelled out." -- John Harding Daily Mail
David Szalay is the author of three previous novels: Spring, The Innocent and London and the South-East, for which he was awarded the Betty Trask and Geoffrey Faber Memorial prizes. Raised in London, he has lived in Canada and Belgium, and is now based in Budapest. In 2013 he was named as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.