Watching the Colour Drain from the Butcher Boy’s Face

Gabriele Annan

‘We all have at least one terrible friend. Each one of us is someone’s terrible friend.’ The epigram was coined by a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge called Jack Gallagher, You could adapt it to the present mood in Europe by saying: ‘Asylum seekers are a menace. Each one of us is someone’s menacing asylum seeker.’ It doesn’t even have to be a Gypsy; it could just be the retired couple fleeing from Guildford who have bought the Tuscan farm across the valley from yours. The asylum-seeker scenario is one of the subtexts in Hans-Ulrich Treichel’s economical, cynical, pitiless and very funny novella.

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