- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Canada; Reprint edition (March 13 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679313974
- ISBN-13: 978-0679313977
- Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.2 x 20.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #615,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Book of Revenge Paperback – Mar 13 2007
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
“The Book of Revenge will not be the last book to be written about the darkness that descended over the Balkans after Tito’s death. But it is easily one of the best.”
—The Sun Times (Owen Sound)
“An engrossing portrait of a guy trying to remain balanced, humane and civilized as his society spirals downward into repression, militarism and civil-war hysteria.… Todorovic’s splendid memoir is a look-back-in-sadness at his once and former country, a country that haunts him still.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“There is a great dark humour at work in the book, combined with lyrical tenderness for his country…. Todorovic is an exceptional creative writer,
but he is also an excellent reporter.”
About the Author
Dragan Todorovic aspired to play his material in this blues for Yugoslavia like Hendrix played his Fender. He is an award-winning writer and multimedia artist who was born in Kragujevac, Serbia, and lived in Belgrade for many years before moving to Canada in 1995. His previous books (published in Yugoslavia), include biographies of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits, and a collection of poems.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Book Of Revenge is sometimes funny, often melancholy, always thoughtful, sometimes bitter. It may be a "Blues for Yugoslavia", but it is also a lament. I couldn't help feeling that the author was lamenting not only a country that broke apart, but also an idea of a country never fully realized. We arrive at the end of the book having shared fond memories of friends, family and lovers, but also painful recollection of injustice, corruption, betrayal and loss. There is no sugar-coating or Hollywood ending, just a withdrawal from despair into nothingness.
The narrative is approximately linear, from childhood on, but there is a slipperiness to the time line that sometimes made it hard for me to grasp the exact sequence of events. Two steps forward, one step back. As a story, there are too many characters (and my unfamiliarity with Slavic names did not help). Although some names have been changed to protect identities, Todorovic appears to have kept fictionalization to a minimum. The messiness and loose ends of life remain. I also sensed a guardedness in the writing. Whether for political, personal or literary reasons, there are parts of his life that Todorovic chooses not to put on display. (His relationship with his long-time partner is the most obvious example.) I found the book less satisfying as a result.
Despite these small reservations, I found the narrative compelling. By the second chapter I was hooked, and read the book in just a few sittings. The prose is elegantly simple and direct, with only the rarest echoes of what must be Serbo-Croatian rhythms. This is a truly valuable story told by a fine (and award-winning) writer. It a story of courage and survival in an imperfect world.
I bought this book after reading about it in the (very favourable) Toronto Star review. What I expected to get was a political perspective that would help me fill in the gaps left after so many contradicting reports over the years. And I got that. But on top of the political content, there is some excellent writing here. Todorovic's pictures are poignant and powerful (he writes mostly in pictures, which makes for a very readable book with impeccable timing), and his sense of humour (very often, it is a bitter humour, I must add) is great. The characters in this book are very much alive, and on that level this memoir can compete with the best of fiction. I read the book in less than three days, and that says something, as I'm one of those readers who tend to read several books at once and split their time between different authors.
We learn about most periods of history from the books written by historians. Only rarely we get a private perspective that is engaging, precise and relevant. Revenge is one such book.
This author is a real discovery for me. I warmly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia, but also to anyone who wants to read something for the pure pleasure of it.
It is also a book badly needed.
As mentioned, most works pretaning to the Balkans (Serbia especially) paint it as a dark and evil place, yet this book, though not all 'sunshine', gives some glimpses into the beauty of the area, every day life and how the war impacted normal people.
Very well written, highly recomended.
A beautiful work.