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Category Archive for 'Croatia'

Croatian author Josip Novakovich crafts a novel here which bursts the bounds of genre. Both naturalistic in its depiction of the Yugoslavian war and its atrocities, and fantastic and darkly absurd in its depiction of the life of main character Ivan Dolinar, the novel seesaws between the horrific and the hilarious. Surprising in his ability to wrest unique images from universal experiences, Novakovich writes with such clarity and directness that the reader immediately identifies with Ivan in his predicaments and empathizes with him as uncontrollable forces buffet him throughout his life. The novel follows him from childhood to his fifties, and the conclusion is a blockbuster, sixty pages of the most absurd, farcical, and hilariously ironic writing in recent memory, a section which comes close to slapstick at the same time that it is indescribably bleak.

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