The Papyrus Trilogy :: Zoran Živković

The Papyrus Trilogy

 

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić and Vuk Tošić
Part of The Zoran Živković Collection

A series of mysterious deaths in the Papyrus Bookstore brings literature-loving police inspector Dejan Lukić to investigate. Together with the attractive owner, Vera Gavrilović, they discover the elusive Last Book is responsible. Seemingly causeless deaths multiply, the National Security Agency, a secret apocalyptic sect, and others are drawn in, and the secrets of immortality, death, and reality itself are revealed in a masterful trilogy that demonstrates the magical and ultimately benevolent power of literature.

Includes The Last Book, The Grand Manuscript, and The Compendium of the Dead.


Reviews

  • …witty, intricate development; richly drawn, engaging characters; and Živković’s diverse play with the underlying challenge he has set for himself: like Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, these novels interrogate the possibilities and limitations of the detective genre. … If you’ve not read Živković, indulge yourself: worlds of wonder await you.
    Michael A. Morrison, World Literature Today
  • Why isn’t Zoran Živković better known in this country? He possesses an imaginative ingenuity and charm similar to that of, say, Paul Auster or Italo Calvino, with bits of Kafka, Borges and Beckett mixed in… the narrative seductiveness of Zivkovic’s “impossible stories” remains distinctly his own. Open one of his books and prepare to be enchanted.
    Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book Review
  • Serbian master fantasist Zivkovic has written what may be the most delicious mystery by a speculative-fiction specialist since Stanislaw Lem’s mind-boggling The Investigation (1974). Unlike Lem’s novel, it is also a discreet, witty love story.
    —Publishers Weekly, USA
  • Fans of Zivkovic’s stripped-down, elliptical fables will be delighted by this elusive metafiction.
    —The Guardian, UK

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The Five Wonders of the Danube :: Zoran Živković

The Five Wonders of the Danube

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
Part of The Zoran Živković Collection


On five bridges over the Danube, five strange and remarkable tales are told: tales of the sacrifices that are made for Art. For the painter, the sculptor, the writer and the composer, creation is inextricably entwined with violence, suffering and the darkest reaches of the psyche, and the bridge to enlightenment is the hardest of all to cross. Yet through the innocence of a dog all can be redeemed, in the miraculous climax of this complex and exotic fable.

Zoran Živković’s latest masterpiece, available in English to readers around the world.
Perhaps his finest work to date, The Five Wonders of the Danube is another of his famous “mosaic” novels, cleverly weaving multiple narrative threads into a tapestry of surrealism, reaching a magnificent conclusion in the final tale. Readers eager for more of his unique stories, combining simplicity of language and structure with thought-provoking explorations of life and death and reality will reread this one again and again.

Long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2013.
The Five Wonders of the Danube was originally brought out as a five-volume set in five languages: Serbian, English, German, Hungarian and Slovakian.


Reviews

  • Reading the stories once allows the unexpected to hit you. Reading them twice allows us to follow the presence of motifs (the bridges, obviously: the concerns about art, naturally, but also the characters, especially the small dogs and the animals that appear, Lewis Carroll-like, in the second “Wonder”) which occur and develop like musical themes. Živković is also one of our funniest fantasists. … Ably translated, as ever, by Alice Copple-Tošić, it makes us want to go with the flow of increasingly imaginative narrative, but also to stop (as you can do so much on such a river) and think about the context of where we are.
    Andy Sawyer, Strange Horizons
  • Why isn’t Zoran Živković better known in this country? He possesses an imaginative ingenuity and charm similar to that of, say, Paul Auster or Italo Calvino, with bits of Kafka, Borges and Beckett mixed in… the narrative seductiveness of Zivkovic’s “impossible stories” remains distinctly his own. Open one of his books and prepare to be enchanted.
    Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book Review
  • Živković expertly crafts two stories in one; the events you read about, and the story in the connections between the unconnected. As you read further into the book, the parallel images stack up and craft a narrative like no other.
    Rick Kleffel, Narrative Species
  • Živković reveals himself to be a true surrealist by piercing the veil of manifest reality to expose the latent content of the dream-world. … As with the best of Živković’s prose, The Five Wonders of the Danube resists easy categorization, but its ironic amusement at the complexities of truth and perception should entertain readers of sf and experimental fiction alike.
    Paul March-Russell, Foundations No. 123


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