What Happens in Brussels, Stays in Brussels by Ġużè Stagno

This is a sardonic, laugh-out-loud and often cringe-worthy portrait of the Maltese abroad. It follows a journalist and a delegation of political canvassers on a press junket to Brussels orchestrated by MEP Charlo Pulis. Once in Brussels, the trip degenerates into a series of mishaps, misadventures and petty power struggles. Reading it feels like Stagno has taken a generous slice out of contemporary Maltese society – with all its stereotypes, vanities and profanities – and served it up in the form of an effortlessly written, highly compulsive novel. I wolfed this down like a guilty pleasure.

Merlin, 2013