Crumbs by Miha Mazzini

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Crumbs by Miha Mazzini

Slovenian fiction

Orginial title Drobtinice

Translator Maja Visenjak-limon

Source – review copy

It was strange after reviewing The germany lottery in January by Miha Mazzini for the Scottish based publisher Freight books to issue for the first time this books Crumbs it is also known as The Cartier Project .This book was out in the US about ten years ago and written in 1987 .So I was thrilled to read another novel by Mazzini after enjoying The germany lottery so much .

Asa child I loved Guilvers travels .The only children’s book where the her shits and pisses .And even thou that hadn’t really been written for children .It just never happens to anybody else because you can’t live without doing it ,you get a feeling that you’re different a dirt complex .

This tickled me as it is so true it only that book I remember this happening .

 

Now The book was published in 1987 it does to remember that it is set in a working town ,where the main industry is a foundry .We meet Egon he is a writer ,in fact a writer in the model of the characters of books from Paul Leppin or Knut Hamsum Egon is a man living on the edge struggling for his art and also kicking against his art as he rants about writers at times .He is a chancer ,womanizer and idealist in some ways .He is chasing a dream of a life he may never have but also at the same time he is viewing the country around him change ,of course this is the time the Yugoslavia start to split back up to the smaller states that originally made it up .We also have a chase by Egon for a bottle of the after shave Cartier pour L’homme .Egon is a user in many ways and constantly with his band of friends tries to make the most of the world around him .

The postman was putting letters in mailboxes ,We said hello and exchanged a few polite sentences .No I didn’t intend returning to the post office .Maybe we’d have a drink another time .

I was struck because the main character in German lottery was a post man and now here is an Ex postman .

Now this book is a lot gritty than the German lottery and in some ways a far more complex books their is a lot of aliuson in this book the after shave maybe is a metaphor for statehood Egon maybe is a the nation struggling to capture the riches and promise that a dream like a fancy bottle of aftershave can bring you .Freight choose this as it feels the situation Egon is in and the Yugoslavia of the time when it is wanting to split is similar in some ways to the current Scottish situation with the vote for independence due .It was his début Novel and wrote it whilst working as a night-watchman .writing in the day this gave the novel its choppy style as he was looking after his daughter and  had to keep checking her .Egon is a character that is based in a type of character that is slightly different from the usual ones in Slovenian fiction .I watched a great interview with Miha about the book here .The style he says is absurdist and it is we follow the country around Egon falling apart and he is focused else but other events are happening .The book was made into a film .I found a clip here .It shows the Punk ethos and that Egon is a punk ,I hadn’t got this so much from the book more just a bohemia type with a dark edge .

I love the cover to this one as well .

Naw much of a Talker by Pedro Lenz

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Naw much of a talker by Pedro Lenz

Translator – Donal McLaughlin

Swiss fiction

Original title – Der Goalie bin ig

Source – Review copy

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Well when I was contact by the publisher about this book it sound really fun take on a translation Pedro Lenz has spent time in Glasgow the lead character in this book is from Glasgow ,so the choice of Donal McLaughlin a Scottish translator meant that he could translate the book into a Scottish vernacular .Pedro Lenz was born in Langenthral in Switzerland studied spanish literature at Bern university ,since then has spent time as a freelance writer for papers ,magazines and is also a member of a spoken word group .This is his debut novel and was nominated for the swiss book prize and won the Berne prize .This book is also to be made into a film .

Tell me summit ,Goalie .Whit like wise it in jail ? Ah don’t kow anyone else who’s been .

Is thart how ye came ?

Naw , naw at aw .Ah telt ye , didnt ah ,someone said it wis yir birthday .Ahm jjust intrtisit ,that ‘s aw

It’s nowt special

Just after he gets let out Goalie ask how it was locked up .

Now the title has change from German to English but the German title gives a clue tot the books main character he is called Goalie ,and is like a character out of an Irvine Welsh novel he has just been released from prison after serving time for drugs  and he  has decide to get away with his friend Regi and his new girlfriend to spain for a break .Now how do you describe Goalie well he is one of these guys that is destined to be a no hoper a loveable rogue ,but his greatest flaw is that he trust those around he maybe a little too much and this can lead him into trouble .It seems this isn’t the first time this level of trust and belief has led goalie astray .He is also a great spinner of yarns and likes to twists his own truths .As they are away he tells his yarns and slowly his friend ,tells him he should be doing more with his story telling ability .In the end we see him trying to forge a new life away from his old life .

Well this is a book of the voice ,I can see why some that does spoken word performance ,would fall in love with the loveable rogues and tall tales of Glasgow .Goalie is the embodiment of type of man not even from Glasgow but a man who lives his life large on tall tales and what he has done ,there is many of them in every big city in the corner of a pub or club holding court and telling his Yarn .As I said in the start Goalie could walk of the pages of Irvine Welsh or even Roddy Doyle Novel ,he would be a side character in their books maybe a man in the pub as the commitments played telling tales or a fellow drug taker from train spotting telling a story as the buy There drugs .Now this isn’t the easiest book to follow at times it is in a thick Scottish dialect ,but when I tend to speak the lines to myself I got the real feel of the book .This is a book that would do well as an Audiobook or to be read out loud a clever take on modern Glasgow and its colourful characters .

would you like more books in Dialect or given a more regional feel if set in the uk in translation ?

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