King of China

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When Keith Stapperpfennig and his family give their grandfather the trip of a lifetime - an all-expenses-paid holiday to any destination in the world - the old man arbitrarily chooses China, and asks Keith to accompany him. But when Keith loses all the money for the journey at a casino, he goes into hiding - mostly under his desk-and his grandfather, not really interested in travelling to China, heads down the road to engage in a similar subterfuge. It is here that the novel opens: two men in hiding, mere miles apart. With the aid of a guidebook, Keith writes letters home, detailing their imaginary travels and the bizarre sights they see. But soon his imagination gets the better of him . . . Engaging, strange and ultimately moving, this hilarious novel confirmed Tilman Rammstedt as one of Germany's most compelling writers.