Augusten is a young man from an aristocratic family, struggling to make sense of a world devastated by the Great War. The enemy abroad may have been defeated, but when he finds himself implicated in the death of a young girl, he becomes targeted as the enemy within. Fleeing Britain, Augusten seeks refuge and solace in the remote castle of Bavarian relatives; but what he finds is a hinterland of fierce lust and terrible darkness; a paradigm of the hunger and the hatred that promises to resuscitate a ruined Germany. The Fox in the Attic is both a haunting tale of unrequited love, and a remarkable crystallisation of a singular moment in history. Recording the moment when Germany teetered on the brink of Nazism – the pause before the thunderous fall – Hughes’ prose captures both the full weight of inevitability, and the full weight of first love.
“In scope and ambition challenges War and Peace …bears the hallmark of a masterpiece.” – Financial Times
“Magnificent, authoritative, compassionate, ironic, funny, and tragic…The Fox in the Attic has that universal authenticity that is the hallmark of great writing.” – Times Literary Supplement
“A masterpiece…exceptionally powerful” – Anthony Burgess
“Electrifying…Hughes has Tolstoy’s vision and an imaginative reach of his own…The result is historical fiction of rare integrity and distinction” – Hilary Mantel
“Funny and horrifying, its epic scope and discursive philosophising recall Tolstoy, and its portrayal of Hitler is the most brilliant I’ve read in fiction” – Sunday Telegraph