“The Order of the Day”

I confess to being uncertain as to what kind of book Éric Vuillard’s “The Order of the Day” actually is… Although I found it on one of Waterstone’s fiction tables, it relates events leading up to the Austrian Anschluss of 1938 and thus the foothills of the Second World War, and does so with what I can only assume to be a reasonable degree of historical accuracy. On that basis it appears to be, simultaneously, fiction and non-fiction.

Perhaps it is ‘faction’…

It is a ‘small’ book – though only in terms of word count and not subject! – and the reader will, I think, be rewarded by devouring it all in one sitting.

Although I found the tone a little uneven – dispassionate and ‘learned’ at one point, brutally opinionated and acerbic the next – it is a book worth reading, not only because it is well-written but also because there are overtones we would do well to heed in a twenty-first century where society seems increasingly willing to endorse nationalism, bigotry and racism.

I leave it to others to draw their own parallels…