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Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  87 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Tragicomedy of the highest order, this stellar collection is Croatian writer Novakovich's best ever.

Hailed as one of the best short story writers of the 1990s, Josip Novakovich was praised by the New York Times for writing fiction that has "the crackle of authenticity, like the bite of breaking glass." In his new collection, he explores a war–torn Balkan world in which a s
ebook, 272 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 2005)
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It's always difficult to rate short story collections because the stories and characters are so different. Some stories, like "Spleen" was a five-star for me, others not really my favorite. Yet what's unique about this collection is the binding theme, the different, yet similar characters and their similar motives. Novakocih was voted one of the best short story writers of the 90s, his prose is simple and elegant. One of the things he does best with his characters is inner dialogue, where you re ...more
Jul 17, 2011 Poupeh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories are each amazing in their own way.
And many lessons there to be learnt for story writing about the balance of action, thoughts, dialogue, imagery, details...
And the interviews at the end of this edition are quite interesting as well.

These dark funny humane stories and the like, such as those by Hemon in The Question of Bruno, and by Jean-Euphèle Milcé in the novella, The Alphabet of the Night, have brought me more understanding and sympathy of nations in war and turmoil than many
Daniel Simmons
Sep 12, 2015 Daniel Simmons rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bad. Cool cover, though.
It seemed like it took me a long time to read this collection of short stories. In some ways, short stories are more difficult to me than a novel, especially to read continuously. The nature of a collection of stories, make me start and stop. That said, I did like this book and Novakovich's writing. Though sometimes brutal and even crude, these stories are beautiful, meaningful prose.
David Gallin-Parisi
Check the subtitle. Croatia, Bosnia, and what's now those lands are explored along with New York CIty and other connected locations. Characters pushed to their limit, yet strangely calm. Recommended if you like R. Crumb's sexually fantasizing comics and war story sobering realizations. And dirty jokes, wrong jokes, or just people drinking a bunch and telling jokes together.
Aug 31, 2009 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Points for an interesting, personal look into the years (and years) of Croat-Serb-Bosnian conflict, previously mostly foreign to me. Minus points for having just read David Means and the stories couldn’t really compare. So really the minus points are all my fault.
Mar 26, 2008 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, fiction
I liked some stories better than others, especially The Bridge Under the Danube. The ones set in (former) Yugoslavia were better than the emigre ones, in my opionion.
Dec 03, 2007 Shauna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh. Really hit and miss. I sort of liked the few stories written from the POV of an alienated Yugoslav emigre better than those directly from the war zones.
Jan Koch
Sep 14, 2010 Jan Koch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another incredible book by Novakovich. His short stories, set primarily in Croatia, excellently convey the personal experiences of living in a war zone.
Nov 29, 2011 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Meh. I couldn't really get into it. The title is honestly better than the first half of this book...
Jul 08, 2007 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Difficult read set in Balkans... Very dark side of humanness. Was ready for book to end.
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Josip Novakovich (Croatian: Novaković) is a Croatian-American writer. His grandparents had immigrated from the Croatia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Cleveland, Ohio, and, after the First World War, his grandfather returned to what had become Yugoslavia. Josip Novakovich was born (in 1956) and grew up in the Central Croatian town of Daruvar, studied medicine in the northern Serbian ...more
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“He must have given up on image making because his eyes had failed to see something they had yearned for; his mind had failed to capture whatever it had hoped, and that probing gaze perhaps expressed alarm at the emptying of his vision, at the dissolution of the things see, observed, into a meaningless vastness.” 3 likes
“But that did not make Mirko happy - the world was melting away; what was a grade compared with the world? He gazed through the windows and watched the thickly falling snow.” 1 likes
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