Nominated by:

Muntpunt, Brussels, Belgium

Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Openbare Bibliotheek Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Stichting, The Netherlands

The Public Library of the Hague, The Netherlands

Publisher of nominated edition:

MacLehose Press, UK

Quercus Publishing, UK

The Guard

Peter Terrin      

Translated from the original Dutch by David Colmer

2014 Longlist

Harry and Michel live in the basement of a luxury apartment block, guarding its residents. Over the course of a weekend, the residents leave the block one by one – all apart from a man on floor 29.

In the grey, airless monotony of the basement, Harry and Michel stick to their posts. The world might be at war or plunged into nuclear winter; they may be the last inhabitants in the city. All they know is that if they are vigilant, ‘the organisation’ will reward them: promotion to an elite cadre of security officers remains their shining goal, and their days are punctuated by vivid dreams of everything they are missing.

But what if there were no-one left to guard? And if the promised third officer arrives, how will he fit into Michel and Harry’s studied routine of boredom and paranoia?

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Peter Terrin, a Belgian writer, represents a unique voice in contemporary literature, touching on universal and highly topical themes. He is considered by critics to be a literary maverick, a classic writer and a masterful stylist. He is also an avid collector of vintage typewriters.

Librarians’ Comments

Chosen by our readers.

Harry and Michel are guarding the inhabitants of a luxury apartment. No-one goes outside. All Harry and Michel know is that if they are vigilant, the organization will reward them. But what if there is no one left to guard?

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