Dinner at the Center of the Earth

  • by Nathan Englander
  • Narrated by Mark Bramhall
  • 7 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The best work yet from the Pulitzer finalist and best-selling author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges - a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.
A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel's most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital, the only man who knows of the prisoner's existence.
From these vastly different lives, Nathan Englander has woven a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined - a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong - who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner?
A tour de force from one of America's most acclaimed voices in contemporary fiction.


What the Critics Say

"Nathan Englander's latest is, as usual, superb: A work of psychological precision and moral force, with an immediacy that captures both timeless human truth as well as the perplexities of the present day." (Colson Whitehead)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Challenging Political Thriller

Nathan Englander is a favorite writer. His plots mix current world politics with challenging questions of right and wrong, and they are always well written. His last novel, The Ministry of Special Cases, was absorbing but deeply troubling in its story of the treatment of college students in Argentina during the days of political oppression and murder.

Dinner at the Center of the Earth focuses on the middle east and terrorism. The central character, Prisoner Z, made an almost off-hand decision that has resulted in his solitary imprisonment in an underground cell in Israel. The characters on both sides of the conflict are well-drawn, and there are some wonderful scenes. Action moves between Paris, Berlin and Jerusalem. But while the action raises questions of honesty, loyalty and punishment, I did not always find it compelling. Some of the plot twists were predictable. The scenes between Prisoner Z and his guard would have been better with sharper back-and-forth between them.

Overall I enjoyed the book. Englander continues to be a deeply creative and thoughtful writer.
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- David

excellent realistic spy novel

liked it very much. well researched with relevant cultural references. highly recommended for espionage enthusiasts
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-05-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio