The Book :: Zoran Živković

The Book

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Aleksandar B. Nedeljković
Translation edited by Tamar Yellin

The Book is not quite a novel, although almost half of it takes the form of a narrative, neither is it an essay, although quite a lot of what is said in it adopts that style. It is actually closest to that rare type or “para-genre” of satirical prose embodied in the exemplary In Praise of Folly by the famous humanist from Rotterdam. Instead of the “Folly,” of human manias and absurdities, here, in a similar kind of double-talk, the books themselves “speak,” those monuments to our intelligence, ambitions and self-importance, and they primarily “speak” by making an analogy between man’s fate and that of books—to man’s detriment, of course.


  • …a vicious critique of contemporary publishing as well as a tribute to books as both precious objects and valuable literature—and it’s narrated by a book, mostly.
    —Scott Bryan Wilson, Review of Contemporary Fiction
  • You may not be aware of this, but there are in fact two intelligent life forms on Earth. One of them is humans, although at times their right to describe themselves as intelligent is cast into doubt by their own behavior. The other is books.
    —Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City
  • The Book, though, is a very broad, highly sarcastic satire, with some characters but no protagonist, essentially a long allegorical disquisition with amusing exemplary episodes. Its subject is, indeed, Books: their nature, nurture, purpose and pride: the way they see themselves, and the way they see us. Of course, underneath this elaborated whimsy, a very serious point is being made, concerning the (putative) death of the human culture of reading. … But The Book is also, implicitly, an affirmation: so long as fine novels like this are published, how can the taste for reading ever truly die?
    —Nick Gevers, Locus


  • Pages: 192
  • Trim size
    Hardcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm), with dj
    Softcover: Trim size 5″ x 8″ (127mm x 203mm)
  • ISBN
    Hardcover: 978-4-908793-07-3
    Softcover: 978-4-908793-11-0
    Ebook: 978-4-908793-29-5
  • List Price:
    Hardcover: US$20.00
    Softcover: US$9.00
    Ebook: US$6.99
  • Cover: Youchan Ito (Togoru Art Works)

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