Sascha Arango’s ‘The Truth and Other Lies’ Is A Dark And Churning Comedy


My boss and I were trekking through the oven-like dry heat of another Arizona evening, finished with another day at work. “What are you reading, Kali?” she asked.

How to explain this one, I thought myself.

At the time I was reading The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango, an ever-churning book, a dark comedy that dives deeper and deeper into the sea it takes place beside. The death and destruction here are oddly gleeful. Sascha Arango is a popular German author who has already won awards for his detective series Tatort. And now, of course, I need to know–when is Tatort being translated? Give it to us, please.

In The Truth and Other Lies, Henry Hayden should be a man of mystery and yet he’s astonishingly simple. When he met his future wife Martha, he wasn’t too taken with her, but after falling upon a brilliant manuscript underneath her bed, he realized she was something special. As the simple Martha desired no fame, Hayden reluctantly agreed to publish Martha’s amazing novels under his name. The novels have become booming successes (think Stephen King-level hysteria), and Martha’s authorship is entirely unknown. Profiting from his wife’s writing ability, Henry lives a simple, comfortable life, enjoying the riches of success.

Until his mistress announces her pregnancy.

While Martha is clearly a master of plots, Henry’s attempts to solve his problems lead him deeper and deeper into a tangled web of betrayal and violence. Who is Henry Hayden, really? Henry’s lovers, along with the police, and a childhood friend who recalls Henry’s poor writing skills from grammar school, all seek to answer this question. The results are often interrupted, always hilarious, and occasionally terrifying.

I won’t tell you how I explained the book to my boss, as I summarized so many plot twists I’d be spoiling things. “Wow,” she said, “that sounds really dark.”

“Dark,” I said, “but very funny too!”

The Truth and Other Lies on’


You may be interested to know that this book is being serialised on BBC Radio 4 @ 2245. The first 2 episodes (of 10) have been broadcast. I am already hooked & so are everybody I have sent the links to. I have a friend in Roumania who is chiding me for not being able to send all the broadcasts to her! Highly recommended.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

[…] The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango  The Truth and Other Lies is bitingly funny. Its cool narrator, a man taking credit for his wife’s blockbuster novels, steers the plot headlong into disaster. My original review. […]

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