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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  214 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Junak novog romana Daše Drndić EEG igra svoju vlastitu partiju šaha, crnim figurama. Iako zna da ne može pobijediti, nastavlja riskirati jer ta je igra jedino što ga istinski zanima. Bez obzira na to je li u Rovinju, Rijeci, Zagrebu, Beogradu, Parizu, Toskani, Rigi ili pak Tirani, Ban pripovijeda priče onih koji ih sami nisu mogli, znali, smjeli ili htjeli ispričati, jer o ...more
415 pages
Published May 2016 by Fraktura
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  214 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Paul Fulcher
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Winner of the 2020 Best Translated Book Award.

"Which would further upset its blinded readers (and critics) who look for a cemented form of regular shapes, harmonious outlines, a form filled with a cascade of connected words, of which it would be possible to say that its characters are nuanced, the relationships, emotions and reflections distinctive, and the style polished; that the ease of narration comes to full expression (whatever that means), that the characters are alive (!), and convincing
Griffin Alexander
This is as close as I've seen to 2666 in terms of grandiose masterwork written at death's door that tries to sum up the twentieth century in all its joy and horror, though a little more grounded in a single narrative vision. If anything it feels even sadder, and instead of one centralized abyss, it is the abyss of everywhere, from America to Europe, from one building to the next, from you to the person next to you on the metro disintegrating in their seat. A great novel of digressions, from ches ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the late Daša Drndić's final book, and is effectively a continuation of Belladonna, told by the same narrator Andreas Ban, and it is also stylistically similar to her earlier Trieste. Once again, the narrator is a bit part player, and most of the book ranges over the troubled history of twentieth century Europe, and as always the details are revelatory - for example the list of chess players and their troubled demises.

This time round much of the history concerns Latvia, and the role of
MJ Nicholls
The textbook definition of “sprawling”, Croatian novelist Daša Drndić’s swansong is a monumental novel mixing travelogue, impassioned testaments to the war dead, genealogical evacuation (filtered through a male narrator, for an unknown reason), charming snark, and metatextual cribbing and hat-tipping. Over 400 pages, Drndić rambles across Europe, unable to escape the ghosts of the Croatian massacred, and the lack of reparation for the victims, moments woven around digressions on mental illness, ...more
This is the last novel that Daša Drndić published before tragically succumbing to cancer in 2018, and it is my first encounter with her work. Free from the rigid formulas of novelistic structure, EEG blends several genres, the kind of writing I love when done well and, in this case, it’s so exceptional that it should serve as a prime example of its kind.

It’s narrated in the first person by the fictional character Andreas Ban who shares with Drndić similar and sometimes identical biographical de
Katya Kazbek
It's rare to be able to revisit your favorite character when reading serious literary fiction. But I can't describe the warmth I felt when I realized that the narrator of Daša Drndić's last novel would be Andreas Ban, who became, for me, inseparable from Drndić herself, blending with the late novelist into a sort of posthumous spirit that watches over Europe's misgivings, inconsistencies, and failures. This novel is less focused than Belladonna, where Croatian Ustasha's government and all its co ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
How is it that I had never read Daša Drndić? Drndić (1946–2018) is one of Croatia’s most acclaimed contemporary authors and a very respected European author. ⁣⁣
Drndić said of her writing: “I use fiction and faction – transcripts, photographs, documents and I twist them. I enjoy myself, twisting these realities.” ⁣⁣
E.E.G. is harrowingly elegiac and presents the 20th century "as a parade of horrors". It is the last book she published before her death in June 2018. I wish I'd met her. ⁣⁣
This is
“The pits began to fill.” [174]

What horrific images this brief paragraph-ending sentence rouses in the mind. If anything summarizes Daša Drndić’s powerful novel, this is it: The pits began to fill.

It begins with a long overdue visit, Andreas Ban, the fictional protagonist of this story, to his old family home in Rovinj, Croatia, to see his sister, Ada Ban. Reflecting on the family and of times past soon spirals into a maddening journey of discovery from Rovinj to Zagreb, Belgrade, Riga, Paris; s
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could this be the most searing swan song ever written? Drndić bids us farewell (read: gives us the middle finger) with a veritable evisceration of our species' propensity for barbarity, brimming with the moral ferocity and panoramic history readers have come know and love (or should I say fear?). A dense, unflinching masterpiece. ...more
Paula Lyle
Jun 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I am all in favor of humanizing and lionizing the victims of injustice and murder. This book attempts to do that in the form of mini-biographies, lists of stolen possessions, and multiple other ways. It is interesting, but it is not a story and so it is easy to lose your way along the myriad words and paths.I'm glad I read it, but it would be hard to recommend it to someone else. ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the end, sublime. It requires some patience with the scattered and history-haunted first half. I loved that part too, but it does remain difficult to see where this all might be going. But Drndic masterfully gathers and tightens and then, gently devastating, whispers the perfect ending into your ear.

A new classic.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was going to say that EEG is not so much a novel as it is an act of witness. But it is more than that. It is an investigation, indictment, presentation of evidence, and judgment of the individual perpetrators as well as the governments and cultures that committed, permitted, encouraged, or turned a blind eye toward genocide and other atrocities in Croatia and elsewhere in Europe in the 20th century. The punishment is the literal accumulation of sentences in this book, a particularized and unco ...more
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Drndic's swan-song. While I enjoyed this novel, with its inflections of Bernhard and Sebald but distinctively Drndic's own unmistakable style, I preferred Belladonna's formalistic experiments a bit more. I'm looking forward to reading two more from Drndic, Doppelganger and Trieste. ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A parting masterpiece from one of the greatest writers of modern times. In her final work Drndic turns the blade of her ferocity back on herself, looking at complicity as it applies to her own family. Unsurprisingly astonishing.
Lee Foust
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again my return to Florence from a long summer spent in California means debilitating jet-lag right after a good long read on an intercontinental flight and I find myself too mentally fuzzy to do real justice to an exception work of literature. I finished up EEG on said flight and now, a week later and barely recovering from my long journey, I sit down to try to say something comprehensible about the novel. (My home internet being down all week has only aided and abetted my tardiness and me ...more
Matthew Mansell
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
Last June, Daša Drndić joined the pantheon of great novelists who are dead. Oh, how it can seem all good novels are written by dead novelists, how I wish I could have read this when she was still alive!

E.E.G. is both separate and a continuation from 'part one' Belladonna and it captures in a more crucial sense than the previous that the individual must protect itself and provide nourishment via the history of the footsteps that the individual has taken. To relate to Soviet chess players, to a p
A fiery masterpiece. Drndic's influences are never hidden - Beckett, Bernhard, Jelinek, and Sebald loom large in her work. Rather than serving as a footnote to these authors, Drndic, by contrast, takes her place among them.

The narrative style itself is perhaps most reminiscent of Sebald, but it swaps his melancholy musings for implacable rage. The narrative is digressive, with no true progression, no narrative centre in the traditional sense. Unmoored by conventional narrative constraints, Drndi
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: croatia
The second book I've read by Drndic and not the last (although, sadly, the author died in 2018. This is an extraordinarily powerful book. While there is a personal "story line," as we follow Ban, the psychologist who didn't - we learn in the first sentence - kill himself after threatening too in the author's previous book, the story line is deeply entangled with the stories of loss through war and fascism and political violence and fascism. We learn - through lists partially - of the chess playe ...more
Lucy Marx
Difficult to express in words. Authorial voice is angry at the carnage in 20th Century and speaks for the victims as she believes that everyone knows the criminals but not the victims. There is list after list of the victims of Nazi genocide as well as those from the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990's. She states her fury of those who try to rewrite history and gloss over the facts. The novel is skilfully constructed weaving from present to past moving from country to country. The narrative is ...more
Barbara Klein
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Seems like it took a long time to finish this beautifully written, difficult book. Not easy reading so maybe that explains it. When I finally completed it last night at around midnight I felt a sense of relief. The subject matter is heavy and often sad, but Drndic makes some of this horror bearable with her dark, cutting humor. Sickness, memory, the indignities of life before, during and after wars and calamities, are listed here in detail. It seems that Drndic wants to list every casualty of wa ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this is a book that I admire and appreciate, but cannot honestly say I loved or felt pleasure at every second of reading it, and that is okay. The more I think about it, the more masterful it seems and that is no easy feat. It's obsession with how weak our memory is and the yearning to hold on to the memories of the past, the prayer like epic listing, all of that speaks to a desire to not have the past erased, afraid of what that imply about one's own existence. It's certainly intere ...more
Joshua Line
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Wonderful, such a powerful original voice. Disturbing how many war criminals wound up in Melbourne. Disturbing, but not surprising, those fuckers are everywhere. We need to pick up Drndic's mission and keep fighting, especially now.

"It's best not to go out. Every time I go out, I tell myself, earplugs, don't forget your earplugs. Then I forget them...

"At the table next to mine at the little pavement cafe , three women were shrieking, grinding words like rolling small pebbles around with their to
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dasa Drndić writes with unflinching honesty. Her digression ranges from Soviet chess players, Latvian Nazi sympathizers, the appropriation of Jewish property, mortality and sanity. There is no focus in this excursive novel. Like life itself, it should be taken as a whole. But there is a voice that will guide you through the madness of life and history. That of Andreas Ban (which is the voice of Dasa herself): authoritative, erudite, yet filled with disguised tenderness.
Sprawling and directionless, with no 'narrative arc' per se, but somehow it worked; was compelling even. Drndić crafts a fine balance between the 'finer' and the 'looser' moments, such that one is lost in ramblings and digressions if a micro-scale interpretation is drawn, but if one considers the body, one appreciates the ambitous scope, and perhaps reframes their sense of what a 'literary' piece can be. ...more
Jonathan yates
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is hard to describe and at parts hard to read, but as I read more and got more involved in the meandering path that this book takes I found myself entranced in a reading daze where you look up at the clock and hours have passed where in your mind only minutes have passed and in these passages there is also value, this is a story that is saying something which is for you to read an interpret
Katie D.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
I could not even finish this book. I got 3/4 of the way through and still could not even say what it is about. This quote (from the book itself) sums up its own nature "...what i was writing was not a diary, nor a travelogue, nor a novel, but something in between, a kind of lame, crippled scampering through condensed time, through particles of time which had become detached from themselves to float through the underpasses of the present..." ...more
Ian G
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 14-sophomore
A superb novel, weaving back and forth between the fictional narrator and the true and horrid events of the 20th century: the Great War, World War II, and, finally, the Yugoslav Wars. Drndic writes such beautiful prose as she recounts the struggles of the Ban clan over a century and one member's finding of the pain some close to the family have endured at the hands of others and the agony some of the best chess players experience (and others cause) under totalitarianism. ...more
Simon Freeman
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books change the way you think about literature, or even what literature is and what it is for. I look forward to re-reading Drndic again and again. What she lacks compared to say Sebald in terms of polish and subtlety she more than makes up for in her rage, her indignancy and her humanity. A truly towering work of art of which I am in complete awe.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: balkan
Drndić is unsparing in her criticism of much of the last century. Her reminder that we must learn from that history is powerful without preaching. She lays bare the human cost of fascism, nationalism and despots and makes clear the dangers that continue to lurk. Her death is a great loss. We will never know the promised story of Adam Kaplan.
Eszter Balazs
After the fifth of the book, I gave up. It is one thought following the other, mostly deaths, killings, sins of the 20th century. There is no story; the narrator never promises one. I stumbled on some sentences, looking for the meaning I did not find. This book is for more hard-core readers, it seems.
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Daša Drndić (1946-2018) was a distinguished Croatian novelist, playwright and literary critic, author of radio plays and documentaries. She was born in Zagreb, and studied English language and literature at the University of Belgrade. Drndić worked as an editor, a professor of English, and as a TV programme editor in Belgrade. She obtained her doctorate at the University of Rijeka in Croatia, wher ...more

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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“I’ve read some extracts from those idiocies of Knausgaard’s, absolutely intolerable unless the person reading them is riddled with holes,” 0 likes
“Every novel is about salvation, says Bela Hamvas, there is no novel without confession.” 0 likes
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