Sunday, March 31
Book Review: Song of Kosovo
Author: Chris Gudgeon
Summary: Some days, it doesn’t pay to be a lapsed pretend Buddhist . . . particularly when you’re charged with a lengthy list of war crimes. Vida Zankovic has done many things to stay alive. A wily young man caught in the insanity of the Balkan wars, Vida has dealt drugs, been forced to join the army, and then deserted when he tried to save a young boy trapped beneath a mountain of corpses. Being accused of genocide, however, forces Vida into a whole new level of surrealism. In Song of Kosovo, Chris Gudgeon exposes the universal human experience like never before, fashioning a satirical world where one earns a following as a levitating holy man while the US Air Force drops “bombs” of condoms, candy, and Ikea pillows to subvert the populace.
Weaving strands of Balkan mythology and history, threading them through the life of a man who only wants to live out his days with the woman he loves, Gudgeon crafts a transcendent tale at once grotesque and absurd, satiric and tragic, touching and real.
As much Catch-22 as De Niro’s Game, Song of Kosovo is a unique examination of how ideas may rise above reality to drive world events and how a nation caught in the grip of conflict may ultimately earn a sense of itself.
My Rating: 7.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: An enjoyable read, which started off strong, and although I had some issues with it, it is one I'd recommend to lot of other readers out there.
There was a fantastic story and character development, and I really enjoyed the self-journey the main character went on, and his retelling of it. There were multiple times I had trouble putting down the book, because I wanted to know how the character got to the end result, which the reader knows from the start, and I was immersed in the back-story and history of the main character and the setting. For the most part I did enjoy the book, but, there were parts of it that didn't seem to flow well with the rest of the story. While they were interesting, I felt there were a lot of plot threads and complexities to the book, that didn't completely come together in the end.
The writing style was also were the book lost me a bit, I found it somewhat hard to follow at times, while I do think this is part of the eccentric, and perhaps a slightly mentally unwell character, his thought process seemed odd at times, and following the story through his eyes, didn't exactly work for me all the time. It definitely added something to the reading experience and the character, but it didn't always work well to carry the story forward.
Overall, it was a good read.
Would I recommend it to read: I would. It was an interesting read and it has a lot of qualities that other books have that are similar to this one, that I know readers would enjoy.
What to read next: The Lighthouse
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, EBook Challenge, New Author Challenge