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How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophoneby Sasa Stanisic
Synopses & Reviews
"Stanisic's debut novel is the moving story of a young Bosnian refugee named Aleksandar Krsmanovic. Aleksandar is the apple of his family's eye, but his sheltered childhood ends when ethnic wars brewing in the surrounding republics make their way to his hometown in the spring of 1992. As Serbian troops storm the village, Aleksandar's family hides, but nowhere is safe. The violence forces the family to Germany, where they struggle to adjust to their new lives as refugees. In the depths of their despair, Aleksandar's grandmother makes him promise to 'remember when everything was all right and the time when nothing's all right.' Aleksandar keeps his word, and the memories pour out of him like a river. The author organizes Aleksandar's recollections as a stream of consciousness, operating on no distinct linear time line and often stopping one story and starting another in the same breath. It is difficult to keep up with this frantic pace, but it pays to be patient because a remarkable life's journey unfolds. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
For young Aleksandar Krsmanoviæ, his grandfather Slavkos credo--the most valuable gift of all is invention, imagination is your greatest wealth”--endows life in Višegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina with a mythic quality, a kaleidoscopic brilliance. So when his grandfather dies suddenly, Aleks summons this gift of storytelling to see him through his grief. It is a gift he will have to call on again when soldiers transform Višegrad--a town previously unconscious of racial and religious divides--into a nightmarish landscape of terror and violence. Though Aleks and his family flee to Germany, he is haunted by his past, and especially by Asija, the mysterious girl he tried to save. Desperate to learn of her fate, he sends manic, anguished letters out into the abyss, again turning to language to conjure all that hes had to forfeit--his homeland, his mother tongue, his innocence. Beneath the infectious vibrancy of Stanišiæs voice is a sweetness and pathos that will haunt the reader long after the book ends. Powerful, vivid, funny, and devastating, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone captures the catastrophe of war through a childs eyes and shows how words have the ability to mend what is broken and resurrect what is lost.
Powerful, vivid, and devastating, this novel captures the catastrophe of war through a child's eyes and shows how words have the ability to mend what is broken and resurrect what is lost.
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