Würger’s international best-selling debut is a timely, beautifully paced novel about class and prestige in the #MeToo era ... In a campus novel that echoes the detective structure of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History... Würger cycles between each character’s voice to brilliantly evoke the medieval unreality of Cambridge and the almost comical wealth of the students. There is much to dissect in this concise and dramatic tale.
The book, a bestseller in Europe and now translated into English by Charlotte Collins, tackles hot-button issues of privilege and toxic masculinity, to mixed results. As a thriller, it's competent; as a literary novel, it's well-meaning but underwhelming ... The Club, like any thriller, depends on plot twists for its power, and unfortunately, the plot is pretty predictable ... That's not to say the book isn't readable; it is, and Würger knows how to use his spare prose to build suspense. Sadly, he hasn't put enough thought into character development ... Few of the other characters are adequately fleshed out either ... You can't fault Würger for being boring, though; he does keep the reader turning the pages, which is harder to do than it might seem. And his critique of gender and class privilege is well-taken — it's great that he's addressing these topics, and his heart is undoubtedly in the right place. He's not by any means an untalented author; it's easy to imagine him writing a more powerful thriller that deals with serious issues. Unfortunately, The Club isn't it.
While the crime at the novel’s center is not surprising, it serves as a catalyst for Würger’s interesting ruminations on class, violence, power, wealth, and masculinity ... The novel’s complicated ending touches on the problems of justice and redemption: who gets it, who deserves it, and its human cost ... A sparse, cutting debut in which violence begets violence begets healing.