Lion for sale ?

TITLE – Circus Bulgaria by Deyan Enev


Deyan Enev is one of a new wave of Bulgarian writers to emerge ,HE was born in Sofia ,married and has had a number of interesting jobs painter ,night nurse ,school teacher and Journalist .He has won Bulgaria’s premier literary prize .I first heard him Talk about Circus Bulgaria on the world service radio and was grab by the man and his book so ask for a review copy .The book centres mainly on people living in and around Bulgaria’s capital Sofia .The book is what may be called a collection of flash fiction pieces ranging from a couple of pages to some over ten pages .as you jump in and out of these lives you find a group of people struggling in the hard times post communism in .they range from gypsy to circus people to little boys .we meet a lion tamer forced to sell his lion to some villains ,A fighter turned hit man .and a personal favourite that made me laugh for a number of days after I read the book ,a man finds a boy wander in the grass in  the night ,ask him what he is doing hunting hedgehogs a discussion follows on the reason for hunting hedgehogs very surreal and funny .

Hi, Krum said , and managed to light a cigarette .he drew on it and tried to look casual .

hi ,the boy said .can you keep quiet ,please ?

why ? krum had already forgotten about being casual .

I ‘m hunting for hedgehogs the boy explained .on a full moon ,there are always lots of hedgehogs .I had a hedgehog at home once .He was character .he kept poking his snout in the kitchen .but you know ,it’s a lie what they say about hedgehogs that they can dance to music .

Krum finds a boy hunting hedgehogs from ,from the life of hedgehogs

The book remind me in parts of Raymond Carver’s short stories ,the characters are similar they like a drink like many of Carvers characters and also are on the fringes of society like carvers tended to be ,there is also a wonderfully surreal edge to some of them bizarre accounts and weird people .It conjures up a melting pot of a city in Sofia .If this is the first of a wave of Bulgarian writing I look forward to the others ,Deyan Enev is a fresh new voice to these shores and a welcome one ,this has to be one of the most stunning debuts I ve ever read .The book is translated by Kapka Kassbova.


 Well I ve found it hard to find an image to Fit this book but this sentence may sum it up .If Robert Altman’s short cuts had been moved to eastern Europe and scripted by the team behind League of gentlemen !

September 2010


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