- A Dribble Of Ink
- A Fantasy Reader
- Adventures In Reading
- Bastard Books
- Beauty In Ruins
- Bibliophile Stalker
- Big Dumb Object
- Bitten By Books
- Boing Boing
- Book Country
- Bookworm Blues
- Caleigh's Blog
- Charlotte's Library
- Cheryl's Mewsings
- Civilian Reader
- Critical Mass
- Curated Fantasy Books
- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
- Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
- Dreams & Speculation
- Drying Ink
- Edi's Book Lighthouse
- Epic Fantasy Rocks! Forum
- Everything is Nice
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews
- Fantasy Book News
- Fantasy Cafe
- Fantasy Literature
- Far Beyond Reality
- Feminist SF
- Free SF Reader
- Gav Reads
- Genre Reader
- Graeme's SFF
- Grasping For The Wind
- Greg Hamerton
- Grimdark Reader
- Hero Complex
- Horror Reanimated
- Jeff VanderMeer
- King of the Nerds
- Layers of Thought
- Mithril Wisdom
- Myrmidon Books
- Mysterious Outposts
- Neth Space
- Old Bat's Belfry
- Only The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
- Realms of Speculative Fiction
- Rob's Blog O' Stuff
- Sci Fi Songs
- Smorgasbord Fantasia
- Speculative Book Review
- Speculative Fiction Junkie
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Stomping On Yeti
- Tez Says
- The Agony Column
- The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
- The Bibliosanctum
- The Book Smugglers
- The Fantasy Bookshelf
- The Green Man Review
- The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review
- The Nocturnal Library
- The OF Blog
- The Overlook Press
- The Ranting Dragon
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Stamp (of Approval)
- The Vinciolo Journal
- The Wertzone
- The World in the Satin Blog
- Tip the Wink
- Val's Random Comments
- Variety SF
- Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
- Voyager Books
- Walker of Worlds
- When Gravity Fails
- Zeno Agency
- ► 2014 (155)
- ► 2013 (260)
- "Jack Glass" by Adam Roberts (Reviewed by Liviu Su...
- GUEST POST: The Literary Odyssey of Ilona Andrews ...
- A stunning Cloud Atlas movie trailer (with comment...
- The 2012 Man Booker Longlist (with comments by Liv...
- Land of Hope and Glory by Geoffrey Wilson (Reviewe...
- "Blood Song" by Anthony Ryan (Reviewed by Liviu Su...
- Imperative by P. A. Wilson (Reviewed by Mihir Wanc...
- Emotobooks: The Fusion of Written Fiction and Expr...
- Cover and Synopsis for "Shadow of Freedom" by Davi...
- Press Release: Jo Fletcher Books acquires The Shiv...
- Focus on 3 older SF titles: David Zindell, A. A. A...
- A SF-nal Journey in Books 1987-2011 (by Liviu Suci...
- Kingdom by Anderson O'Donnell (Reviewed by Mihir W...
- The List of "Science Fiction the 101 Best Novels 1...
- GunMetal Magic by Ilona Andrews w/ Bonus Review of...
- Four upcoming SFF debuts that caught my eye (By Mi...
- The Spirit War by Rachel Aaron (Reviewed by Mihir ...
- "The Prisoner of Heaven" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Rev...
- Retribution Clause and Magic Tests (Kate Daniels S...
- "Sharps" by K.J. Parker (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu a...
- Zelda Pryce: The Razor's Edge by Joss Llewelyn (Re...
- "The Ghostwriter" by Zoran Zivkovic (Reviewed by L...
- A Mini-Interview with KJ Parker (Questions asked b...
- "The Sacrifice Game" by Brian D'Amato (Reviewed by...
- Winners of The Indie Day II Giveaway!!!
- Eerie by Blake and Jordan Crouch (Reviewed by Mihi...
- Spotlight on July Books
- “Giant Thief” by David Tallerman (Reviewed by Sabi...
- ▼ July (28)
- ► 2011 (317)
- ► 2010 (346)
- ► 2009 (466)
- ► 2008 (376)
Saturday, July 7, 2012
INTRODUCTION: Zoran Zivkovic is an author who should be a household name for any lover of Eastern European fantastica, that blend of the real and unreal set in a world that is both familiar and strange and whose best known practitioners in the Western world are probably Kafka, Bulgakov and Lem.
(some of the wonderful print editions I own of his books in addition to the various e's)
Over the past 10-15 years I have been reading various works of Zoran Zivkovic as they have been appearing in English, though I sort of lost track of his books in the past few years until yesterday and a pdf e-arc of The Ghostwriter courtesy of PS Publishing which entranced me from the first page, made me gather again the books I already have and buy a few more from Amazon Kindle for good measure, so now I have all his English language works except the last novel, The Five Wonders of the Danube which has not yet been published in the UK or the US. Expect more reviews of his work as I read or occasionally even reread them...
"A writer sits down to work, but who can resist the addictive temptation of the email inbox? Each message alert brings a new question and a fresh challenge, until a tangled web weaves its way around the hapless author. Yet all the while his cat, Felix, gets on with life regardless. Zoran Zivkovic’s hilarious new novella lays bare the oddities and absurdities of the writing life: the traps writers set for themselves and the snares readers lay for them. Here, too, are fascinating puzzles about the nature of authorship and the writer’s identity, the relationship between the writer and their work and between the writer and the reader, the reader and that which is read. Above all, though, it is a paean to the Cat, to a relationship which in its simplicity and innocence, its playfulness and affection, makes nonsense of all these human perplexities. "
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: "The Ghostwriter" is a lighter and funnier piece but with a serious underlying theme that took over my reading yesterday and I could not put it down until finished. The first few lines quoted below attracted my attention and from then on the virtual doings of our narrator and his email obsession as well as his adventures both past and present with his spoiled tomcat Felix proved impossible to resist.
"HAD THE EMAIL STARTED ANY OTHER WAY, I certainly would have deleted it immediately. For a long time I have saved almost every message and replied to most of them, but finally I came to my senses. Now I only save the ones that seem important because there is less and less time. But what writer could resist the flattery of a devotee, even an anonymous one?
Highly Esteemed Writer,
I am a great fan of your work. I have a business proposal to make in this regard. Would you be interested in hearing about it?
So we meet the narrator, a quite successful but loner writer who is going currently through a "drought" and who has developed an email addiction. For a while now he has been entertaining long email conversations with four other persons, all identified by pseudonyms as he also uses one too, being "Felix" in cyberspace: "OpenSea" - a bitter unsuccessful writer, "Banana" a wannabe lady writer with a fixation on our hero, "Pandora" an elderly neighboring lady with an old dog and "P-0" a writer of pastiches (fan fiction) of our hero's work...
As it happens all four correspondents, the "admirer" and Felix the cat, gang on our hero in a convoluted tale that is both superbly brought together and utterly funny. The clues to the identity of the unknown correspondent are scattered throughout the story and if by the end you are still in doubt, an excellent afterword by Michael Morrison will spell it for you, but "The Ghostwriter" will enchant nonetheless and you may find yourself visiting Amazon and getting some of the numerous inexpensive drm-free ebooks of the author or some of the superbly realized print editions which are more boutique-like...
Overall The Ghostwriter is highly recommended and a very good introduction to the author's work.
12:00 AM | Posted by Liviu | | Edit Post