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Little Infamies: Stories

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  240 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In a nameless Greek village, the lives of its citizens--the priest, the whore, the doctor, the seamstress, the mayor--and even its animals--a centaur, a parrot that recites Homer, a horse called History--are entwined. As their lives intersect, their hidden crimes, their little infamies, are revealed, in a place full of passion, cruelty, and deep reserves of black humor.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Picador (first published January 1st 1903)
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Since dawn the air had the sultriness of fermenting juices and later, just before lunch, the dog started barking for no reason and did not stop until Father Yerasimo chased her away with stones. He could not imagine then that the poor animal was only trying to warn him. Because no sooner had he washed his dish, fed the leftovers to the chickens, and sat on the veranda to drink a glass of wine, than a roar like the beating of an enormous vat echoed across the village. Father Yerasimo watched with
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

A collection of interconnected short stories that reads like a novel. The setting is rural, Greek, and the characters are the ordinary people one expects to find in small forgotten towns and villages anywhere. But its very first story, "A Funeral of Stones," was like an alien spacecraft ride. It felt strange, new, a delight to the senses and, as I floated, I kept asking the driver--Panos Karnezis--where are you taking me, where are you taking me. And he grinned, this rascal with a unusual name,
Πάνος Τουρλής
Μικρές ιστορίες ανατριχιαστικές, θα τις έλεγες καθημερινές. Η μικρότητα και η μικρόνοια του πληθυσμού ενός μικρού χωριού, με τις ανομίες του, το κοντόφθαλμο φέρσιμο, τον εγωισμό, την προστασία από τον κόσμο (μα τι θα πει ο κόσμος;), μικρά διηγήματα που κινούνται όμως γύρω από έναν κεντρικό άξονα και ξανασυναντάς γνωστούς χαρακτήρες.
Δύο ήταν τα πιο φρικιαστικά διηγήματα, κυρίως ως προς το πού μπορεί να φτάσει η μεν σκληρότητα κάποιου, η δε αδιαφορία και συνενοχή του χωριού: το πρώτο, όπου ο πατέρ
Jul 14, 2009 jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story
Darkly funny, though heavier on the dark than the funny. A bit as if Flannery O'Connor got drunk on ouzo with a bunch of gypsies and then decided to write a Greek Winesburg, Ohio while still hung over.

I really liked the first story, which was almost novella length; the shorter ones that followed were a little hit and miss. Karnezis seemed very interested in the intersection between modernity and traditional village life, though he seems to find them equally depressing. There's a fablesque tone t
Kylin Larsson
These short stories center on a very poor town in Greece. I read it to get a bit of a feel for Greek small towns. Most of the stories had a cutesy ironic twist. A lush woman on a bus is stared at, competed over, by the driver and the money taker. She ends up stealing their money while they argue about taking her luggage off the bus.

The town itself develops as a character throughout the collection. But my perception of the town is tainted by the first story. Everybody but the priest and the cop k
Felisberto Barros
May 09, 2012 Felisberto Barros rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Este livro não me parece ser grande coisa, aliás parece-me mínimo enquanto obra. Não tem criatividade ao longo das várias histórias que se vão desenrolando. Uma ou outra história acabam por criar algum entretenimento mas não passa disso, é um livro fraco.
Gosto da ligação que acontece entre as várias personagens, acho que isso está bom.
Porém, aquele final rafeiro estraga com qualquer coisa positiva que este livro possa ter tido, escrita rafeira.
Aunty Janet
Jun 09, 2011 Aunty Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
The book started quite well. I didn't realise it was made up of short stories for a start. The stories are set in the same Greek village with characters which overlap stories. The stories got more and more macabre with less and less humour. I rarely 'ditch' a book, but two thirds through this one I'd had enough. Not my cuppa tea, this one!
Am luat romanul lui Panos Karnezis pentru că mi-a plăcut ideea de a citi un scriitor contemporan grec, asemănat cu Borges şi Marquez, ale cărui povestiri dintr-un sat grecesc nenumit stau sub titlul Infamii Mărunte. Şi, ca un făcut, până şi coperta îmi plăcea, cu greci toropiţi aşteptând la umbra unei prăvălioare să se întâmple ceva… sau nu. Ce mai, trebuia să-l iau!

Şi uite aşa am citit 19 poveşti frumoase şi curioase ca nişte ilustrate vechi, cu păsări exotice, gemene răzbunătoare, cu un flaşne
Sep 23, 2011 mampdx marked it as to-read
Recommended by Annie Proulx, so I'm looking forward to reading it.
In this no name Greek little village there is one priest, one lawyer, one doctor, one barber, one coffee shop, one pension, .... you get the point, it's that small. It's the kind of small village that I would like to one day experience, briefly, and the kind of people and events I would most probably expect to encounter. However, to put these observations in such comical short stories, would require a sense of humor. The highlight of this village is its hater priest who blackmails its nonbelieve ...more
Elisa Goudriaan
Sep 16, 2015 Elisa Goudriaan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een papegaai die een bibliotheek uit zijn hoofd leert, een café-baas die Walvis heet en nachtvlinders die de dromen van de pensionhoudster met zich meevoeren. Een boek vol wonderlijke verhalen, waarin niet alles uitgesponnen wordt, maar sommige dingen in mysteries gehuld blijven, om vervolgens in een later verhaal toch nog opgelost te worden. Maar niet altijd. De personages uit dit boek zijn de inwoners van een naamloos Grieks dorp en wie in het ene verhaal als hoofdpersoon verschijnt, komt in h ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it
I was looking back at my books read in 2013, and it turns out that I rate most things as 4 stars. Makes me feel like I should do something different here, but 4 stars is what I think about this one. A book of short stories (and two somewhat longer ones) all set in or around the same small village in a somewhat indeterminate time period, this is not an uplifting book except in the sense that black humor can be uplifting. The stories are all well-written and engaging, and each of the characters ex ...more
Apr 23, 2014 Simona rated it liked it
It was a pleasant read of a debut novel. Loved the first short story called "A Funeral of Stones". The other stories were not so intriguing as this one. What the writer lacked (that depth or that compassion for the characters), it compensated by the air of literary authenticity which still kept my interest.
May 31, 2015 Ultralimitem rated it really liked it
One great tale broken down into fun and easy to read short stories, containing a lot of funny tergiversations. Although it feels very light to read, the finale reveals a lot of depth.
It sort of reminded me of the Canterbury Tales in that the stories were vaguely connected in the same sort of way. It wasn't enjoyable to me although well-written.
Sep 03, 2009 Fancyjance rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Lovely little book about the lives of the people who live in an unnamed Greek village. Infused with magic realism, Karnezis elegantly captures the nuances and minor details that make up the great stories of the villiagers lives. It gives you a peek at Greek culture, attitudes and the inevitable impacts of progress and a changing world.
Mar 25, 2008 Aphrodite rated it it was amazing
Awesome. You would never guess he started writing in English as recently as 1996. According to the New York Times review, "the intersection of gritty quotidian detail with flight of fancy recalls Gabriel García Márquez." The stories come together in the end, and I seriously enjoyed the ending.
Apr 04, 2012 Moureco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colecção de pequenas histórias, quase sempre com as mesmas personagens e situadas quase sempre na mesma aldeia. Algumas das histórias são verdadeiramente surpreendentes. Todas versam sobre a natureza humana, no que tem de melhor e de pior. Recomendo, vivamente.
Madeleine Fix-hansen
Nov 26, 2011 Madeleine Fix-hansen rated it it was amazing
Dark, fascinating, imaginative and magically real short stories that weave stories of the people (and creatures) who populate and pass through a small, nameless town in Greece. Each story is a vivid swirl of images, dark & quirky, magically real, right & wrong ....
Jul 06, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it
some cool stories about greeks getting owned a lot
Natalie Dollison
Apr 01, 2008 Natalie Dollison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sure, it's a book of short stories, which I usually have very little patience for. But all of these stories connect with each other, a lot like Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck. Quirky, sad, grotesque, and always interesting. Highly recommended.
Jul 27, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book of short stories about a small unnamed village in Greece. A very strange cast of characters that makes me really wonder what kind of people I might meet in my upcoming trip to Greece!!
Oct 17, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: abandoned
Wonderful writing (deserves more than a 3 rating) but this little village is populated by Terrible people. I had to give up on it for now. Just didn't want to spend any more time with them.
Manuela Avram
Aug 25, 2014 Manuela Avram rated it really liked it
Little jeweleries actually :) stories from a small greek village suspended between myth and reality, where every human being has a secret, a little infamy. Immortality in a jar.
Jun 24, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
An original and unusual collection of intertwined, black and yet somehow comical, short stories. I may be pondering these for years and compelled to re-read them more than once.
Paulo Coutinho
É um livro de contos, mas há uma espécie de fio condutor entre todos eles. Alguns são absolutamente hilariantes, outros nem por isso, mas o saldo é positivo, sem dúvida.
Rosa Macpherson
Aug 11, 2012 Rosa Macpherson rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed it. It was humorous, sad, connected. The characters beautifully drawn and the idiocsyncratic aspects of humanity well illustrated. Gentle too.
Apr 22, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok
Series of linked short stories in a Greek village, but too crammed full of clichés and stereotypes to hold my interest. Feels dated
Sorin Hadârcă
Mar 15, 2012 Sorin Hadârcă rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un roman țesut din povestiri. Dacă era de Marquez, era Macondo. Fiindcă-i Karnezis, e anononim. Atât de real că poți să-l pipăi.
Nov 10, 2008 Jake added it
Hilarious book!
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Panos Karnezis's books include The Maze, shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. Born in Greece, he now lives in London.
More about Panos Karnezis...

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