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Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust
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Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  18 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 20th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 2005)
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Христо Блажев
Предателства и спасения:

А тя, третата, има достойнството да не разказва страховити истории и дори далеч не е само за войната в Югославия, но я засяга в най-хубавите разкази. Новакович е избрал по-трудното – да опише реалността на войната през по-обикновени, но не по-малко въздействащи истории, но и да излезе хронологически от военните години, да опише какво се случва сетне. Не е избрал трагично-драматичен тон, позволява на естествения човешки хумор да изб
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
И все пак, Йосип Новакович не преде нишката на една лека сюжетна линия. Той нюансира, нагнетява, натъжава. И изпраща отвъд копнежа за отмъщение, отвъд мечтата за прошка.
Историите в „Предателства“ се носят из въздуха като снежнобели „пера на гугутка“. Галят погледа, преди да одерат безмилостно окото.
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
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Много нежни ми се видяха разказите, макар декорът най-често да бе ужасяваш. Странно колко естествено може да изглежда животът дори на толкова неестествен фон.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a writer, Novakovich evokes a sense of time and place; however, he reads a bit disjointed when it comes to characterizations. He puts forth plausible personalities which come off as perfunctory since he rarely delves into them. There are some great setups here and interesting, sometimes invaluable insights via internalizing. The frustration is that these insights are not fruitful. They may be rueful, reminiscent, or infectious; but Novakovich leaves them too open which disables closure. I rea ...more
Vanessa Fabiano
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A knack for writing violent encounters without sliding into sentimentalism or moral posturing. The low key, almost casual tone of the writing effectively heightens the brutality of events. It generates a sort of cognitive dissonance in the reader. Not dissimilar to what must be going on in the minds of the characters, whether victims or perpetrators or both.
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
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.
Nov 29, 2011 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Daniel Simmons
Sep 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Bad. Cool cover, though.
Jan Koch
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another incredible book by Novakovich. His short stories, set primarily in Croatia, excellently convey the personal experiences of living in a war zone.
Sep 26, 2009 added it
Meh. I couldn't really get into it. The title is honestly better than the first half of this book...
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 24, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Difficult read set in Balkans... Very dark side of humanness. Was ready for book to end.
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Oct 23, 2012
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Jun 09, 2007
Charis Marsh
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Jan 06, 2015
Kelly Magee
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Diana Gasheva
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Nov 11, 2017
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Brendon Clarke-Coogan
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Lisa Beans
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Oct 07, 2015
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Dec 05, 2015
Petar Denchev
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Aug 13, 2016
Peter Kerry Powers
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Dec 28, 2011
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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
More about Josip Novakovich...
“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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