Latest Issue

Peter Florence: The book that changed my life

Finding the book again reminded me of the sheer joy of curiosity, adventure and discovery

By Peter Florence  

Illustration by Bill McConkey

Sansibar, oder der letzte Grund by Alfred Andersch

In the fourth bookstack upstairs at Richard Booth’s Bookshop in Hay, I’m sitting up against the European Travel shelving listening to a string quartet playing in the well of the building.

It’s an impeccably ordered shop, so it’s with some surprise that I see the spine of a novel I haven’t heard of for 40 years wrongly shelved in the Africa section. Alfred Andersch wrote Sansibar, oder der letzte Grund in the 1950s. It translates, literally, as “Zanzibar,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect