This debut novel comes garlanded with praise from its editor, Alice Sebold, herself the author of the smash-hit bestseller The Lovely Bones. She knows a page-turning hit when she reads it and has every right to be excited: this is a hugely satisfying and thought-provoking novel.
The story, of a charismatic teacher who becomes overly embroiled in the lives of his students at a Parisian international school, may seem hackneyed. In Maksik’s hands, however, it takes on the quality of a thriller. There are echoes of The Secret History, but You Deserve Nothing may be even more immediately appealing.
It will certainly be a heady nostalgia trip for anyone who remembers with fondness the days when discussing free will seemed like a crucial activity.