The Valley of Unknowing by Philip Sington

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 6 Critic Reviews



“Remarkable…Superbly anchored in place and time…[A] brilliant, evocative and accurate novel.”—The Times (London)

In the twilight years of Communist East Germany, Bruno Krug, author of a single world-famous novel written twenty years earlier, falls for Theresa Aden, a music student from the West. But Theresa has also caught the eye of a cocky young scriptwriter who delights in satirizing Krug’s work.

Asked to appraise a mysterious manuscript, Bruno is disturbed to find that the author is none other than his rival. Disconcertingly, the book is good—very good. But there is hope for the older man: the unwelcome masterpiece is dangerously political. Krug decides that if his affair with Theresa is to prove more than a fling, he must employ a small deception. But in the Workers’ and Peasants’ State, knowing the deceiver from the deceived, the betrayer from the betrayed, isn’t just difficult: it is a matter of life and death. Now the celebrated author and secret Stasi informer is ready to confess…

The Valley of Unknowing is both a moving and entertaining love story and a seductive thriller, one that pits the past against the future, commerce against creativity, and art against life.


About Philip Sington

See more books from this Author
Philip Sington worked as a business journalist and magazine editor for nine years. His novels include Zoia's Gold and The Einstein Girl. He lives in London.
Published December 3, 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company. 305 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Valley of Unknowing

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Political and personal limitations shape this subtle novel, by English writer Sington (Zoia’s Gold, 2005, etc.), which balances serious and menacing questions of moral compromise with ironic comments on Actually Existing Socialism.

Sep 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

When his editor asks him to review the manuscript of screenwriter Wolfgang Richter’s first novel, The Valley of Unknowing, Bruno is astonished to discover that Valley reads like the sequel to Orphans he was never able to write.

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing

USA Today

At its core is a pair of connected love affairs, which link both Krug and Wolfgang Richter -- the rival, a young screenwriter who once idolized Krug -- to an Austrian music student named Theresa Aden, who later becomes known as a writer herself, under the pen name Eva Arden.No matter that Richter...

Dec 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing

Washington Independent Review of Books

Krug and Theresa become lovers and one day in his apartment she finds and reads the manuscript.

| Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing


Artswrap - The Valley of Unknowing - Philip Sington Search this site: Log In / Register ...

| Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing

Owing to a single work, his inspiring social realist classic The Orphans of Neustadt, Bruno Krug has been named People's Champion of Art and Culture in East Germany. Now he's languishing—even as rising star Wolfgang Richter mocks him at Writers' Union meetings. At a cultural event, Krug spots a y...

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Valley of Unknowing

Reader Rating for The Valley of Unknowing

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review