Zoran Zivkovic: The Library
A cycle of six thematically linked stories, droll renditions of the nightmares ensuing upon misplaced, or (of course) excessive, bibliophilia. A writer encounters a website where all his possible future books are on display; a lonely man faces an infinite flow of hardback books through his mailbox; an ordinary library turns by night into an archive of souls; the Devil sets about raising standards of infernal literacy; one book houses all books; a connoisseur of hardcovers strives to expel a lone paperback from his collection.
- Winner of the 2003 World Fantasy Award
- Longlisted for 2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
- Through each story, the reader witnesses a man brought into subtle conflict with the bizarre, the uncanny, the unthinkable, the imponderable.
The reader, as a third-person perspective witness of the events, understands the surreal aspects of each story, but the man always takes these matters
in stride, applying a cold logic to the illogical with varying results.
Some stories [...] could very well have been written by Kafka though in different pose and on a more upbeat note. Yet throughout the collection of stories here, there's a keen sense of humor, albeit the narrator's offered humor rather than the conscious humor of the victim-cum-protagonist. [...] They're delightful!
—Michael Dalke, Tongues of Speculation
- Živković understands that language as unadorned and stripped down as possible provides a better backdrop for outrageous imaginings than would a more baroque style... Those who like their fantasy rigorous will relish the fiction of Zoran Živković.—David Cozy, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. XXX, No. 3
- His stories are akin to those of Borges insofar as he takes a metaphysical rather than a magical approach in his writing. His stories are almost hyper-realistic in their attention to detail, and the elements of the fantastic insinuate themselves silently into the story rather than irrupting noisily and unexpectedly. It's a quiet form of storytelling, but extremely effective and, slim as this volume is; it repays careful re-reading, because so much is going on below the surface. —Maureen Kincaid Speller, The Zone
Read the complete review <here>.
- "...concept-driven sf, written in the classic spare yet graceful Eastern European style, and structured as cycles of linked short stories that focus on a single theme. [It has] a very specific emotional density—for me almost the defining characteristic of Živković's work, [and is] less focused on speculative wizardry than Borges and more focused on the human element. There is a whimsical quality to the writing. [...]Živković's characters are exiles in their own country, looking over their shoulders and trying to fly beneath the radar of an invisible yet subtly coercive state. [...] It is indeed excellent. —Chris Moriarty, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Read the complete review <here>.
- "Though it is too soon to crown [Zoran Živković] the new Borges, [he is] a leading candidate."—Chris Moriarty, The New York Times Book Review, USA
- "Once again the author has shown his control and mastery over his spare prose, a style entirely appropriate to the quietude of his subject and themes, where silence is as much an element as melody."—Sfsite.com, USA
- "Živković is, as ever, polished, and frighteningly intelligent; book-lovers will recognize intimately the frissons and frustrations he evokes."—Nicholas Gevers, Locus, USA
- "Živković's unnerving gems cast the rest... into the shade."—Washington Post, USA
- 120 pages
- Trade paperback 5" x 8" (127mm x 203mm)
- ISBN 978-4-902075-33-5
- Kurodahan Press Book No. FG-RS0004-L29
- List Price: U$7.50
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