Mission London by Alek Popov

missioon London Cover Alek Popov

Mission London by Alek Popov

Bulgarian Fiction

Original title –  Мисия Лондон

Translators – Daniella and Charles Gill de Mayol de Lupe

Source – Review copy

Why, why, why? Because it’s all logic and reason now! Science, progress, chip-chip… Laws of hydraulics, laws of social dynamics, laws of this, that and the other… No place for three legged Cyclops in the South Seas… no place for cucumber trees and oceans of vine… no place for me!

From Quote NET baron Munchausen

Susan at Istros books is doing a great job bring wonderful new books from the Balkans and surrounding regions ,here she has brought us Alek Popov a rising star of Bulgarian fiction ,Alek Popov he got a degree in Bulrgrian Philology from Sofia university , he has worked as an editor ,also as cultural attaché to the Bulgarian embassy in London for a time .He has written 11 novels and was elected to the Bulgarian academy in 2012 for creative arts .Mission London is his first novel to be translated to English and is also a successful film .

“Your Excellency !” Robert Ziebling exclaimed , from the very threshold of this office .”I cannot begin to express how delighted I was to receive this invitation ”

The managing director of famous connections seized the Ambassador’s hands and proceeded to shake it fiercely .

The dodgy Pr man meets Varadin

So Mission London follows the new Ambassador at the Bulgarian embassy , this guy  Varadin has been thrust from nowhere really to this prestigious job as a stepping stone for a bigger political career   .Now the problem is he has some hard tasks to try to do for his bosses back home ,The wife of the current prime minister wants to meet the queen for a banquet .This leads him to a dodgy pr firm ,he meets a Princess Diana double  Katya ,whom he employs first as a cleaner then when he discovers she is the Diana double things take quite a strange twist for her and Varadin .Then there is the hunt for food for the meal ,the chef he wants swans but through a Russian Mafia connection ends up with ducks stolen from the royal park that the police can track .Add to this the keeper of the ducks ,Russian Mafia bosses and a fake queen .A story that will have you laughing and cringing at Varadin’s  life in London .

Dale pulled out his mobile and called Ray Solo head of security

“Ray ” he said weakly ,”I’ve cause to believe something terrible has happened …”

“Whats wrong ?” Ray’s voice sound stressed .

“My ducks have disappeared ” sobbed Dale “My little duclings !”

The ducks are stolen from the Royal Richmond Pond to go in the ovens at the Embassy .

Now I loved this one it was a book I started put to one side and then Last weekend decide to start again and read it in a couple of sittings especially after watching the trailer for the film .As you see in the trailer the book is rather like A Bulgarian take on a guy richie film ,multiple plot-lines ,bending the real world just enough that it is absurd but believable .It also is a remind of the Humour in Bulgarian lit  ,I have come across before in the other book from Bulgaria I have reviewed here circus Bulgaria by Deyan Enev , a dark mix of satire and black humour that is similar in this book .If you like the greats of British Political satire television you will love this book it is one of those books that every turn sees another disaster around the corner another near miss  .Another gem from Istros books .here is the trailer for the film .

Have you a favourite Bulgarian read ?

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian Joseph
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 16:00:08

    Great commentary as always Stu.

    I loved the passages that you quote from the book, especially the first one.

    I also really like books that blend in complexity with the absurd.

    Reply

  2. istrosblogs
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 13:18:53

    To read more about Mission London, and comment on the book club page, go to http://missionlondon.istrosbooks.com/

    Reply

  3. Mytwostotinki
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 13:01:02

    This is a funny book and easy to read and since the author was a cultural attachee in the Bulgarian Embassy in London I can imagine that there is a lot of truth in it. My review of the book: http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=134
    By the way, it is great that you review also books from Bulgaria here. I can recommend you especially Georgi Gospodinov (Natural novel, or his newest novel Physiscs of Sorrow which is not yet published in English as far as I know). Some interesting Bulgarian writers are writing in English (Miroslav Penkov, Kapka Kassabova) or German (Ilya Troyanov, Dimitre Dinev). Penkov published recently an excellent book with short stories (East of the West): http://www.mytwostotinki.com/?p=61

    Reply

  4. Trackback: My day at London Book Fair | Winstonsdad's Blog

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