Crime Fiction Title Pick: The Farm by Max Annas (Germany)

Eight Hours, Minute by Minute

Somewhere in South Africa, a farm comes under heavy attack. No shooters in sight. Only one thing is certain: The attackers are savagely resolute. A diverse group of people barricade themselves inside the farmhouse: women, men, and children; bosses and workers; blacks and whites; a police officer; random visitors. Who is the target of the attack? What has motivated it? Politics? Revenge? Greed? Drugs? Weapons? But do the people outside know more than those indoors? The snipers who are trying to operate in the dark of night? Who will die, who will survive? Who is pulling the strings? Who will be the winners, who will be the losers? And how long can eight hours actually be?

Winner of the 2015 German Crime Prize, Max Annas’ taut, terse novel is based on the foundational premise behind John Carpenter’s iconic film Assault on Precinct 13. The resulting work is a highly concentrated piece of literature. Constant changes in perspective, piercing precision. An explosive mixture of psychological thriller and Neo-western with a political subtext. Translated by Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds.


“Max Annas keeps the reader transfixed with a chain of violent events both unrelenting and tragic. With its gritty and isolated setting,The Farm resembles a Western while exposing the persisting, do-or-die inequalities in South Africa—all in an expert translation.” —Steve Anderson, bestselling translator and author of The Preserve and other novels

“Annas’s writing is crisp and tense, with not a word wasted, as we follow the bitter fight for survival.” —Sunday Times (South Africa)

The Farm
Max Annas
Translated from the German by Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds
September 2020
Catalyst Press

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