I’ve been so busy at work (I’d go so far as to use the word stressed even) that Dead Europe has lain read and un-reviewed on my desk for 3 weeks now. If I’d loved it I would have whipped up a post by now, but as usual I’ve been wondering how to express my disappointment in a fair way. I’m already feeling that way about The Spare Room by Garner – only quarter way and yet already infuriating enough for me to have to put it down after every third chapter.
Back to Dead Europe. I can see why people love it for the in-your-face politically incorrect racial jousting; for its nihilistic de-romaticising of the former Czechoslovakia and in contrasting urban Greek attitudes with the stoic folks in dying rural villages. And as per usual there’s a lot of rough, male on male casual sex to keep the shock factor from waning too much. Like everyone keeps saying about The Slap, the characters are not very likeable, but at least they feel real. For me, many of the ghostly history parts in Greece just didn’t make much sense, I kept losing track of who was who, and it might have worked better to have read it in one or two sessions instead of many small tram rides. I still think Christos Tsiolkas would be the BESTEST dinner party guest ever – I think he’s coming to the Darebin Library soon to talk about it, so I should book now and beat the crowds. 4 stars.