The Birthday Party by Panos Karnezis - review by Frances Wilson

Frances Wilson

A Bumpy Night

The Birthday Party


Jonathan Cape 272pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Marco Timoleon, as he is called in full throughout the novel, is The Richest Man in the World, and it is the occasion of his daughter Sofia’s twenty-fifth birthday. To celebrate, he organises a party on his private island and secretly includes amongst the invitees a doctor, a nurse and an anaesthetist, whom he has asked to perform an abortion in one of the guest bedrooms. Sofia, Marco Timoleon has discovered through his private investigator, is pregnant and while she is delighted by the news, he does not approve of the father-to-be. The tycoon, who does not have long to live, wants to ensure that his empire will be inherited by the heir of his choice. Also at the party is Ian Forster, Marco Timoleon’s official biographer, who happens to be Sofia’s lover. It is at this point that The Birthday Party begins; to quote Bette Davis from All About Eve, ‘fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.’ 

Not even after take-off can our seatbelts be loosened, despite the fact that the party does not get going until the end of the book. We are indeed heading into a bumpy night, but there are enough twists and turns along the way to make us wonder how and if

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