How do you capture the state of an entire continent in one novel? Austrian writer Robert Menasse tackles this daunting task with a droll wit and in exhaustive detail in The Capital, which came out in 2017 in German and was translated into English this year. The teeming European epic blends many genres—the murder mystery, the workplace farce, the action thriller—as it follows a disparate group of characters struggling to find their place in a continent in transition. The traumas of Europe, particularly World War II, weigh heavily on all of them. And while many never meet, Menasse finds thematic ways to skillfully weave their storylines together.
Buy now: The Capital