The Compendium of the Dead :: Zoran Živković

The Compendium of the Dead

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Vuk Tošić

When certain mysterious events involving books occur, it seems that Inspector Dejan Lukić is always the man for the job. This time, however, things are a little different. Inspector Lukić himself is at the heart of the mystery, lured by the appearance of a number of packages addressed to him in person and left at several highly unlikely locations. The contents of these packages – a set of books known as The Compendium of the Dead – a series of bizarre disappearances and a succession of strange encounters keep the baffled Inspector on his toes right up until the extraordinary dénouement, in which the finality of death itself is challenged. In this, the final part of the trilogy that began with The Last Book and The Grand Manuscript, Zoran Živković demonstrates beyond contradiction the magical and ultimately benevolent power of literature.


  • This third variation on powerful books (and the power behind them) allows Živković to bring the trilogy almost full-circle, and tie up some loose ends in setting everything right — the havoc that a writer wreaks put back in order. It’s a decent, clever idea, and certainly makes for an agreeable conclusion. … The Papyrus Trilogy forms a nicely rounded whole.
    Michael Orthofer, The Complete Review
  • Zoran Živković is more interested in books and how they are made than in hard-boiled detectives and how they detect. Not for everyone perhaps, but good fun…
    —David Cozy, Only A Blockhead


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