A Happy New year from me Stu

I am sitting watching old episodes of Call the Midwife with Amanda a sort of comfort eating version of tv I suppose. We had a morning in the peaks a coffee outside at Hassop station and then a walk around Whitworth park. So I am wishing you all Happy New Year as I am working the next two days. As I am just reading the stunning French Novel Born of No woman a horrific tale of a young woman sold into servitude by her father as he can’t afford her and her siblings, the story is told when a priest finds a notebook hidden by the young girl as she is dying. I will return on Monday with the first review of 2022 what book has seen you into the New year? Do you have comfort tv?

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Looking forward to 2022 and good riddance 2021

I am looking forward to seeing the back of 2021 in fact I am awaiting the spring and the downturn in Covid Number personally just the worry over Amanda, My Aunt and Dad health and well being all of whom have health issues is weighting Heavy on me as the figures go up every day I’m well worried more and more. Hence last few weeks are slow in terms of blogging I’m not a winter person but I have been awaiting the new year for the blog mainly as I knew I’d miss the 100 review total early in December and I then decided to read and await reviews to next year so I know have 5 books to review in the new year and a further three books part read. I am looking forward to starting the new year with a bang and trying and matching last January total of 13 reviews and then trying and carrying it on for more than the first month of the year. Then I hope to carry it on I have a good 2022 and finally, I hope to break that 100 review point. I am also looking forward to events as ever January in Japan, Man Booker International shadow duty, Spanish lit month, German lit month al of which I enjoy. I hope in the summer to get to London it’s been to long since I have been there, I hope to make my Vlog debut soon, I am also hoping to neaten the blog slowly over time. I’m not a list keeper but hope to keep a better track on things like GoodReads and I have just signed up to story graph as well also increase my Twitter presence again I still try every week to look in and retweet Translated Thursday tweets but I hope to be about more this is something I have been slowly doing the last few months. I hope to also watch films from the world cinema Genre I have Mubi and BFi so have lots to watch I need be less Eurocentric, the same could be same for the books on the blog I feel I have become safer the last few years I used to review more African fiction but also need review more Asian, Arabic and Latin American fiction also a lot of Russian lit has passed me by in the last couple of years. I try to cover as much but maybe felt the last few years I pick safer books in translation if that makes sense I need to be more adventurous at times. I am the everyman of world lit but I need be promoting the smaller places less translated even a few European countries need more highlighting. So I am yes worried but I take care of myself and the rest of the family takes care of themselves and are careful when out and about that is the best we can all do in these strange times. I m very excited for the new year in the blog as I am feeling more motivated than I have been in years and am actually reading more this last couple of months than I have in the last two years. What are all your plans for the coming year I can’t wait to hear and what books are you looking forward too especially those from outside Europe in translation?  What films have you enjoyed around the world this year any blogs you could point me in the direction of in regards to world cinema? I also include my diary for this year I have this radical from verso and a small one from the British museum to try and keep up with reviews etc

Three Bedrooms in Manhatten

Three Bedrooms in Manhatten

Belgian fiction

Original title – Trois Chambres à Manhattan

Translators – Marc Romano and Lawrence G Blochman

Source – Review copy

I’m late to my review of this I initially picked it up in the summer and just wasn’t connecting to the book then I often find if I try a book at another time like I did with this one I get into it. When I have more time on my side and as I had a morning and I have always found Simenon writes books that on the whole are under two hundred pages long and can be read in a single sitting like this one. As this book now makes a Dozen book I have reviewed by him this is one of his standalone books. This book stems from the post-war years that Simenon himself had lived in New york. It follows a couple of European like himself who have been transplanted and are wandering around the big city like lost souls into they meet in this book.

He was surorised to find himself eyeing the boy who had took their order to make sure he didn’t know her, thart she hadn’t come here a hundred times with other men. Would he make some sign of recongnition to her ?

Yet he wasn’t in love with her. He wasn’t sure he wasn’t already he felt irritaion watching her fumble in  her purse for a cigarette, woth her commonplace gestures, the way she brought the cigarette up to her  lips, smudging it with her lipstick as she fished around for her lighter

Even at the start it is on rocky ground as he isn’t sure of Kay.

The two lost souls at the heart of this book are Frank and Kay. Frank is a middle-aged Actor divorced and struggling after a scandal that saw his wife leave him for a younger actor and he is now been in America for six months (this was about the same time Simenon himself had been in the US when he wrote this book). Then we have  Kay a socialite who has fallen on hard times as they meet in the night after drinking in one of the all-night dinners that are about in Postwar New York. These lost souls connect and end up sleeping together and as they connect and meet on a couple more occasions what happens is a relationship between two souls that are at the lowest ebb and clinging to each other and this brief interlude of sex in sordid hotels, I was struck at his description of a run in Kay’s stocking that she had just to live with a harrowing place to be in. Frank and Kay are damaged but in the end, it is a relationship doomed to the three bedrooms they end up in as we see this brief relationship.

She took his head in her hands. She pushed it against her shoulder, pressing his cheek to hers. She held it therm almost by force, as if to fill him, bit by bit, with her heat and  her presence.

He kept one eye open. Inside was a block of anger he meant to keep intact.

“You weren’t as alone as I was , ” she said. She said it softly.He wouldn’t have heard the words if herlips hadn’t neem by his ears.

It means more to her it seems at times that it does to Frank

This is different from the other books that I have read by him. There is a feeling it must have some of his own experiences spent in New York, just after world war two whereas seen in the book there is a lot of ex-pats wandering around after dark in this city it is like the cover picture which is Edward Hoppers Nighthawks painting apt as these two could have a jump of the picture. They also are like characters from a Tom Waits song or a Raymond Carver short stories this has a large chunk of Dirty realism at its heart this is the dark side of those early post-war years before the gleam and shine of the 50s the tough times had by those that had escaped the horrors of the war years as they are clinging to life through drink and getting by adding to that they both have other problems a wife leaving and losing ones home to also compete with this is a glimpse at people at there lowest point. The relationship reminds me of the one John Cusack described in the Film version of High fidelity (I hate the fact it was moved to the US ) but his relationship with Sarah is very like this relationship two souls clinging to each other when at their lowest ebbs. An interesting book it was made into a film in the early 60 and would still make a good film as the characters are universal in a way the way it deals with casual sex and people on the edge of life drifting through their nights out.

Winstons score – B+ a tale of two lost souls and a couple of brief erotic encounters.

Merry Christmas From Me Stu

Edited in Prisma app with Gothic

Well, it is Christmas 2021, I am working this afternoon and Boxing day morning I have worked most of the last 20 years at Christmas So I am use to adjusting what we do so we will be having our big meal Boxing day night. Today I finished a great Norweigan modern classic today which Iw ill be reviewing in the next few days. I hope all of you are all having a bookish Christmas I am looking forward to the new year and trying to bring you all more books in Translation in 2022. What have you been up to this Christmas ?

A very Merry Christmas from ME Stu !!!

Winstonsdad Albums of the year 2021

I have the last few years shared my favorite albums of the last 12 months in no particular order here they are-

Big green Field – Squid

A mad mix of New wave, krautrock, and post-punk it is a crazy mix of sources that is one of the most original records of the year I first heard them on my favorite radio show, Marc Riley he has turned my to so many good bands in recent years

Cavalcade – Black Midi

Another album rooted in post-punk and her with a chunk of industrial sound songs of cult leaders and Marlene dietrich the second album is maybe less frenzied than their debut was and an easier listen to the listener. As it was recorded with less ad hoc ness than the debut.

Eps – Cranes

A collection of their EP from the shoegazing band Cranes was one of the shoegazing bands collection of Eps was one of this year record store day offerings I had seen them years ago and brought the first album at the time the late 80s but hadn’t heard anything for years this was a trip down memory lane with Alison Shaw’s childlike voice and a heavy mix of guitars behind her.

A common term Anna B Savage

I love her voice it reminds me of Nico at her best her album is maybe the one I have played most this year

Henki – Richard Dawson and Circle

The Newcastle-based singer-songwriter joined with Finnish death metal band Circle for a series of songs with flowers as their titles but the songs are about various subjects like Lily a tribute to his mother a nurse.

Nick Cave – B sides and Carnage

Two albums this year the first a lockdown collection with Waren Ellis stripped bare recorded over lockdown one of his best records for years we also got the second series of b sides and other projects I brought the first collection and this maybe isn’t as good as the first selection but some lost gems here.

Blind Date Party – Bill Callahan and Bonnie Prince billy

Two of the greats of the alternative country scene  team up for a covers album record in lockdown with a various guests I love the cover of Sea song they do one of my favorite Robert Wyatt tracks

Badgers of Wymeswold – The surfing Magazines

An indie supergroup of members of Slow Club and Wave pictures another Riley discovery Ten days of shiver and sports bar were played lots by Marc Riley both very catchy songs

Barn – Neil Young

His latest album 41st album is his best in years mellow in parts it harks back to his classic albums.

Spencer Cullum’s coin collection – Spencer Cullum

The Nashville based London artist is another gem from Riley something that echos back to the 70s in this collection of songs  a modern take on Psyche pop an album that is underrated and worth listening to if you haven’t

An Album I also listen to was Martin Stephenson and the Dainteess who rerecord their This boys heart Album He has a few albums on Spotify but this isn’t there Martin has been around for years and is one of my favorite singers so this new recording which saw the album tracks rearranged and rerecorded was a gem to play alongside the original record so that is my dozen records what were your tunes of the year?

Winter In Sockho by Elisa Shua Dusapin

Winter in Sockho by Elis Shua Dusapin

Swiss fiction

Original title – Hiver à Sokcho

Translator – Aneesa Abbas Higgins

Source – personal copy

I picked this up in a charity shop recently as I am one to avoid hype books but when I read the book blurb again it grabbed me somewhat and the writer of the book Elisa Shua Duspain a writer from a french Korean background that grew up around Europe and had won a number of writing prizes including the National book prizes for the best-translated books. The book was popular when it came out and had a rather eyecatching book I am always wary of books that seemed hype but it is a short book perfect for sitting and reading on a winter day off so that is what I did today.

My mother was squatting in the kitchen, her chin pressed top her neck, arms plunged into a bucket. She was ixing fish liver, leeeks and sweet potato noodles to make the stuffing for the squid. Her soondae were known to be the best in Sockho.

“Watch me work the mixture. See how i spread the stuffing evenly”

Iwasnt really listening. Liquid was spurting from the biucket, pooling around our boots and running towards the drain in the middle of the room. My mother lived at the port, above the loading bay, in one of the apartments reserved for fishmongers. Noisy. Cheap.My childhood home. I went to see her on sunday eveninggs and stayed over until Monday, my day off off. She’d been finding it difficult sleeping alone since I’do moved out.

Her mother struggles with her not being there

The book follows a relationship between a young french Korean girl and a Fench comic artist that has come to stay at the Guesthouse where she has been working for the elderly owner. But now it is winter in the resort she is in is this summer resort that is like one of those western towns with tumbleweed getting blown around as the tourists have now gone and it is a ghost city as it is winter. so when Kerrand appears this older French man catches her eye, as he is the opposite of her boyfriend an airhead that is trying to forge a career as a model the fumbling embrace where see describes his hand touching a scar on her leg that scar which causes her to bite at this airhead as she expects him one day to ask her to change herself for him. This is heightened by a fellow guest that has had recent facial surgery laying low in the winter town. So as Kerrand gathers are narrator can speak french he asks her to introduce him to the real Korea as they take a road trip to the border she is more drawn to this man. Although she despairs at the fact he isn’t that into the food as her mother the other main person in this book is a woman that can prepare the deadly pufferfish. I was reminded of the Simpson’s episode where the chef had maybe wrongly cut up the fish that Homeer had eaten a fine line. They used to share a bed in her mother’s small apartment and she is starting to struggle as she is away most of the week working at the hotel. This is a young woman drawn to the mysterious older man as she dreams of him noticing her even more than he does. Will he write his comic book about the place?

Kerrand was listening to me intently, head down, one hand on his forehead tohold back his hair. The only display that had caught my attention was one with schoolchildrens shoes from the north along with Choco pies packaged in blue instead of their trademark purple. Were they the real thing? Did they actually have a cake inside or had they been specially made for the Musuem?

She is so drawn to this mysterious older man

I liked the descriptions in this book she caught that feel of a seaside town when the tourist have gone in the winter I remember visiting my grandparents that lived in a seaside town in winter it is an eerie place a place of spaces that was this is echoed in the narrator description of his drawings full of white spaces. The story is a classic older man younger woman with a boyfriend that isn’t all he seems I was reminded of Lost in Translation the connection between these two is less intense but the feel of them discovering places is the same as she views those places again when she goes with Kerrand. it works it hasn’t that feel of Woody Allen at times where the relationship between a young woman and the older man feels forced what effect has she had on Him if any? It is a perfect winter read it is a subtle take on a relationship like those french movies Amelie for example where her encounters are brief and intense like our narrators take on these days of visiting small conversations. What are your favorite books or films around brief encounters?

Winstons score – B+ a wonderful short read set in a dead seaside town.

Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje

Running in the family by Michael Ondaatje

Canadian memoir

Source – personal copy

I decided to try something from my collection of books that aren’t translated I do have a lot on this pile more older writers I have previously liked and enjoyed so I decided to try and cut this down a bit over the next twelve months maybe one book a month from this pile so I decided to start with the booker winning writer Michael Ondaatje and his journey home to Sri Lanka or as it was then still called Ceylon and a memoir that looks at his extraordinary family and especially his two grandparents this book came out before his booker winning The English patient which is one of my favorite novels.

Francis de Saran had the most extreme case of alocholism in my Father’s generation and. always the quickest, was the  first to drink himselfinto the grave. He was my father’s and Noels closest friend and the best man at several wedding he tried to spoil. Unambitious and generous, he lost all his teeth young  something he could never remember doing. When he got into a fight he would remove his false teeeth and put them in his back pocker. he was in love for a while with Lorna Piachaud and started fightes all over her wedding reception. He attacked his own wofe and then, overcome with guilt decided to drown himself

One of his father’s friends is an indiction of the type of man his father was too.

As with most of his books, this uses memory as a springboard as we see him go back to his homeland he had left 254 years earlier before settling in  Canada his father a hard-drinking ex-soldier his a man he struggles to know so maybe visiting Ceylon and learning about his family will draw him closer. As he visits two times in the late seventies and 1980, in fact, these trips were around the same time my Auntie visited Ceylon I remember this as she brought me and my brother some wonderful kites made of paper. One of the characters he focuses on is his grandmother Lalla a woman who only found herself after being widowed at a young age when her husband passed when she was just in her thirties and the life of her friends and Neighbour Rene these two are a pair of merry widows. Lalla is a larger-than-life figure a joker a character that most families will have that life on long after they pass away.  then his grandfather on his father’s side his father meeting his mother and his parent’s marriage. The grandparent’s era is evocative the way he talks about it the last embers of Empire big parties the various cultures as a melting pot of life in the Ceylon of the twenties. A colorful and sometimes not a memoir more something between fiction and memoir it feels Ondaatje has called the book, not a history but a Portrait or a gesture and that is what it is one man looking for a past and trying to find out who he is and more.

So an hour later my grandmother, lalla, comes back and enterains everyone with stories of how she passed ships out there and the tell he David Grenire is dead. And nobody wants to break the news to his wife  Dickie is her sister. And she went and sat with Dickie who was still in a faint in the sand and  Lalla, wearing her elaborate bathing suit, held her hand. Don’t shock her, says Trevor, whatever you do break it to her gently.My grandmother waves him away and for fifteen minutes she sits alone with her sister, waiting for her to waken, She doesn’t know what to say. She is also suddenly very tired. she hates hurting anybody

His larger than life Grandmother with a hard task here

 

I love Ondaatje as a writer he has that ability to grab a reader and drift from place to place and to conjure up place whether in the English patient where he brought the desert and the villa in Italy so much to the life he evokes the Ceylon of the times now long gone his family ghost jump off the page. A place before the bloody history of the later part of the 20th century a country that has now gone and isn’t there. Ondaatje paint so well his grandparent’s era especially Lalla one of those larger-than-life figures every family has a woman that grew after her husband’s death so much. It also looks hard at his father at times a drinker and a man that he struggles to know his father is a figure from a different age maybe the last of that type of male it seemed to be a particular type of man that the Empire breed!  It also uses the memories well as it paints a more vivid picture than the facts those remember events places can be painter a little brighter a little more fun, a little bigger than they were as I said it is a memoir but use his writer’s flair to add to it. Have you read any books from Ondaatje?

Winstons score – +A nearly perfect book from a great writer.

Literary Miniatures by Florence Noiville

Literary Miniatures by Florence Noiville

French Literary criticism

collected from Le Monde des livres

Translator – Tersea Lavender Fagan

Source – Personal copy

I eread the descrption of this book and the faxct that Florence Noiville had been in charge of foreign literature for the French newspaper Le monde and had doe a regular column that interviewed the worlds great writers this is a selection of those interviews. Initally she started in the fiance world before becoming a literary critic in  1994 she has since also written two biographies one about the Nobel winning writer Isaac Bashevis Singer, also a number of novels and a number of works for younger readers around Myths.

Liscano admits this from the start – he wanted to write this book in the spirit of Buzzati. In honour of the author who had “saved” him. And because, he says, Like Picasso painted the MEninas to have a dialogue with Velazquez, every novelist writes to converse with his predecessors.”What do they talk about?” Alination, in the strict snse, that is everything that makes an individual becomes “other”- Buzzati speak of the army, but his allegory could be applied to poltiical parties, religions corporitions .. self – awareness is also lost in midst of society. Everything depends on where one places cursor between freedom and security

Carlos Liscano (who was translated in early 200s I have now found !)

The book is formed up of 29 interviews and encounters she has had with a number of the greatest writers. I knew about 80% of the writers had read most of those there is a few I hadn’t heard of as they appear to have not been translated into english yet. The book opens with the Late Aharon Appelfeld a writer I once briefly meet when he won the IFFP prize a Holocaust survivor he described himself as  “A Jew writing in Israel” about how he learned to read the bible. don Deillo interviewed around tjhe time he brought out a point omega and how at theat time following the deaths of MAiler and Bellow he was on the cuspo of being America great writer. Nadine Gordimer a writer that was at odds with the country she grew up in. I was remind of a Chinese writer I had read many years ago and I think I will be reading some time son Yu Hua. I read his chronicle of a blood merchant. Now fpr a writer I hadn’t heard of Carlos Liscano a writer that I think hasn’t been translated or very little has been translaqted into english a poltical prisoner he had read and connected wioth the writing of Irtalian writer Dino Buzzati a writer I have reviewed a couple of times on the blog. Then a firm favouriteof this blog Cees Nooteboom is interviewed and Florence is amazed as his language as he drifts from french(that he learned after not being able to insult a man after he trod on his foot) Then whilst being interviewed he slips to Flemish with his wife and then German and english all this on a spanish island Menorca he loves as shown in one of the books I have reviewed from him.

Nooteboom greets you in French, speaks to his wife in Flemish, answers the phone in Spanish, then German, finshes a sentence in ENglish and uses latin to talk about species – planted by his own hands – in his garden that is his pride and joy. Hibiscous, euphoirbia. plantago.. “the garden is a personal creation, he says looking at the tops of the trees. “THEre is a photo of me with Hugo Claus: palm trees are up to out knees. The Japanese say that a garden is the portrait of a soul. Mine must be rocky because thereare a loit here, like my poetry” -he regrests that this important part of his work has not been translated into french. “I’ve noticed that either you like stones or you don’t. The minorcans think they store the heat and posseses secret healing powers.”Like poems?”

The Great Cees Nootboom interviewed his great ability with Language.

I like this I love pen pictures of writers Although I had read a lot of the writers , A writer like Carlos Liscano is one I will be watching out for. Elsewhere it remind me of the craft of William Trevor as she describe him as a writer that chips away to make his stories a nod towards his previous career as a wood craver. I wish we had a section like this in one of our papers a small glimpse nto great writers but also a portal of discovery for readers the beuty is finding new voices Florence style pof interview draws you to the writer and want to discover more or rerread them. A great choice from seagull books as it a wonderful collection of pen pictures of the later part of the 20th and early part of the 21st century writers a good place to start on the cannon of great wrtiers of this time.

Winstons score – + A I love little gems like this another wonderful discovery from Seagull books !!

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-Sun

Lemon by Kwon Yeo-Sun

Korean fiction

Original title – 레몬)

Translator – Janet Hong

Source – review copy

I now head to South Korea and a collection of interlinking short stories from the Korean writer Kwon Yeo-Son. She has won a number of Literary prizes in Korea and is known for her style that shows the cracks in Everyday life it says on her Korean Wiki pages with an honest and unstoppable voice. This book was initially a short story. she has published ten books and this is her first work to be translated into English. The book follows what is called “The high school Beauty murder” that happened in 2002 as the World Cup was happening in Korea it is a good way of framing the timeframe of the events as the world cup unfolding helps form a time line of the events.

I imagine what happened inside the police interrogation room so many years ago. By imagine, I don’t mean invent. But it’s not like i was actually there, so I don’t know what else to call it. I picture the scene from that day, based on what he told me and some other clues , my own experience and conclussion. It’s not just this scene I imagine. For over sixteen years. i’ve pondered, prodded and worked every detail embroiled in the case known as “THe High school Beauty Murder” – to the point I often fool myself into thinking I’d personally witnessed the circumstances now stamped on my minds eye.

The opening lines of the first chapter of the book as Han Manu is at the police station but in hidsight his view of events maybe isn’t the same as then!

The book opens with the integration of Han Manu he was on his scooter when he saw Kim Hae On and is one of the two main suspects of the killing of the teen Beauty queen. He is getting interviewed but never charged and as the threads and suspects all run cold the case is dead we then move back and forward in time as we view the three points of view that make up the collection of eight short stories. As we see what happens and has happened since the murder. It is more about the ripples from that event and the two main narrators are the sister of the victim Do- on she is stuck after her sister’s death and eventually takes steps to look like her sister more and we see that her sister boyfriend who had an Albi but maybe is more involved in the death as he was the other person apart from Manu that spent the last evening in his SUV that he was driving kim around in the evening before she was found murdered. The other narrative is kim’s classmate Sanghui now her narrative gives another angle on the events during and after the Murder.

I asked myself; Did I want to go back to that time, too? When I’d been so wld about Joyce that I’d written my poem ” Betty Byrne, maker of Lemon Platt?” if we could actually go back to that time would I ? I didn’t know . But I still remember  the first lines of that poen

Today again I burned the platt

nothing ever goes right for you, Betty Byrne

The connection to Joyce is here about Da On and Eonni chat about her poetry

The book is told in A Joycean style  well a little. As the book it isn’t about finding who killed Kim at the time.  it has dark elements also a lot about the class system in Korea. The difference in how the two suspects are viewed is the rich Shin thew boyfriend and the poor delivery boy that is suspected more even though he says Kim wouldn’t look at him. Kim was rich but it is more a look at the aftermath of the killing of High School Beauty Murder.  There is a part where James Joyce is discussed there is a stream of conciseness style I also felt it had a fragmented nature to it like little clues to what had happened and what had happened since almost like a puzzle and we the readers, we can fill the gaps as we want. It looks at the aftermath of death on a family members Murder like Suicide is such a life-changing event for those living behind it effects last forever. I enjoyed this book it is an interesting look at murder that isn’t really a crime novel in the sense of a dective novel more a series of reflections and glimpse of what happened on that night. As it says the facts and what happen to the people on that day can blur and had.

Winstons score – -A near-perfect look at the aftermath of a murder from three perspectives.

3 Minutes and 53 Seconds by Branko Prlja

3 Minutes and 53 Seconds by Branko Prlja

Macedonian fiction

Original title – 3 минути и 53 секунди

Translated by Paul Filev

Source – personal copy

Branko Prlja grew up in Sarajevo graduated from the Josep Tito high school in Skopje which he moved to in his teens as the Balkan conflict start and Yugoslavia fell apart he made his home in Macedonia. He is a writer and graphic designer he set up the first prize for Electronic literature in Macedonia as well as the KAPKA (Creative activism through parody, criticism, and allegory) organization. This book came out under his pseudonym Bert Stein which he has published two books under that title of this book is a nod to the average length of a single but is about the time it takes to read each of the chapters that follow the 20 years from 1984 as we follow an Unnamed character growing up in similar circumstances to that of the writer. One boy growing up as the place he remembers fell apart and he start a new life in Skopje.

That winter the temperature dropped below -20`C, but it didn’t prevent my dad from taking me skiing on Mount jahorina.

The song ” Where the streets have no name”, whioch was playing on the old cassette player of pur green 1982 Lada Riva, sounded as it it was coming from afar. The rhythmic sound of the guitar mixed with the hum of the car going up the mountain road as snow -covered evergreeb trees sped past. My dad delibertely jerked the steering wheel left and right, causing the car to skid and spin toward the shoulders of the road covered with huge deposits of snow, while we nearly split our sides laughing. I was happy

I remebr U2 in a VW Golf as we crossed germany years ago.

This is a slice of Bildungsroman that follows our narrator as he grows up from being seven when he first here Michael Jackson thriller remember the video which was a nod to the 80s horror genre of films what follows is a memoir of sorts that ties the music of each year to the growing up of our narrator from the USA to Africa song the following year the end year of Tito reign is seen through the young boy’s eyes. the last few years after the Winter Olympics as the cracks slowly appeared as the country of Yugoslavia becomes a collection of what is now six republics. He was listening to songs by U2 and Simple Mind’s accompanied his memories of the time. Those little memories like a thing alike the design of a cigarette packet was maybe a nod to the future graphic designer. The turn of the nineties saw him in Skopje as he had hoped to return to his home town but as events unfold he has to stay and start his life in Macedonia. What follows is his teen years I loved the music he picks most of which I remember and loved some I didn’t but it showed the power of music as a trigger to memories as he start to publish his first books.

The Guitar on U”‘s “Numb”, catching the world unprepared. Music became a thumping heartbeat, a machine propeller, a car engine … I listened to ant thought about my Einstürzende Neubauten, who’d been making music like that for years … it seemed that opop rock music was evolving and catching up with rap, which was always experimenting. Insane ion the Brain by the timeless Cypress hill and Bacdafucup by the short lived Onyx breathed new life into the scene, whil Body coubt blended metal with rap was a challenging concept. my heavy metal friends teased me for doing it, but hey , that’s a completely different story.

I remember all these I missed seeing EN when they keft a U2 tour early back in the day.

I enjoyed this book I like a bildungsroman as a genre of fiction. So whatever the time and place the is always some connection to our own years of growing up and Brankop choice of music is such a great way to connect to our past what I re3member as ai read is not just Bramko characters memories which is a thinly veiled of the writers own life. Songs Like U2 remind me of my time in Germany, Nirvana I remember drunkenly watching the shambolic first tv appearance on The Word then lastly Chop Suey which My best friend loved and his young daughter danced to all those years ago. This is a short read as Peirene call a movie book a book to read instead of a movie and here it will bring you memories if you are my age of the songs and the times I worked with a number of refugees at the time the Balkans fell apart so could connect to Brankos memories I work with a lad that had grown up in Sarajevo and was in German in the early nites a story similar to the story of the character and many at the time. Do you remember these years and does music connect you to memories? Another hidden gem from Dalkey.

Winstons score A – A Bildungsroman that is a thinly veiled story of the writers own history

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