Dead Europe sets sharp realism against folk tale and fable, a world of hauntings and curses against a fiercely political portrait of a society The energy in the writing, the pure fire in the narrative voice and the fearlessness of the tone make the novel immensely readable, as well as fascinating and original, and establish Christos Tsiolkas in the first rank of contemporDead Europe sets sharp realism against folk tale and fable, a world of hauntings and curses against a fiercely political portrait of a society The energy in the writing, the pure fire in the narrative voice and the fearlessness of the tone make the novel immensely readable, as well as fascinating and original, and establish Christos Tsiolkas in the first rank of contemporary novelists Colm Toibin Isaac is a photographer in his mid thirties, travelling through Europe It is the post Cold War Europe of a united currency, illegal immigration and of a globalised homogenous culture In his mother s mountain village he encounters a Balkan vampire Subsequently, as his journey continues across Italy, Eastern Europe and Britain he discovers that ghosts keep appearing in the photographs he takes, providing clues to a family secret and tragedy Parallel to Isaac s story we are in the Greece of World War II A peasant family is asked to provide protection to a Jewish boy fleeing the Germans It is this boy who will become the vampire From the mountains of Greece to the inner city streets of 1960s Melbourne, we trace the journey of this malevolent force as it feeds on generation after generation of Isaac s family, seeking revenge and justice FROM CHRISTOS TSIOLKAS In attempting to trace back through the mythologies, lies and truths of history, I want to examine how the legacies of the past still actively disturb our slee
Dead Europe Dead Europe sets sharp realism against folk tale and fable a world of hauntings and curses against a fiercely political portrait of a society The energy in the writing the pure fire in the narrative
This is the third book I ve read of Tsiolkas , and it will most likely be my last His books are so unremittingly bleak, but also done in such a way that they come across like a sophomoric I hate the world and everybody sucks mentality Like he shuts himself in his room and screams YOU JUST DON T UNDERSTAND ME, OKAY In his worlds, there is no good And as a gay author and inclusive of gay characters in his text it often comes across like self hatred and even so in this book populated by sociopathi [...]
I finished this book ages back, but needed to think for a long time about what it meant For me, Dead Europe is both a fable, and an exorcism There are so many layers of meaning here, it takes a while to digest I find an anger in Tsiolkas s writing which echoes the anger of a teenager, slamming his bedroom door It s a bellow of independence and a scream against influence, which cannot quite hide a familial affection The dual narrative of Isaac and the magic realism storytelling of long ago reflec [...]
What a magnificent book It made me weep It also made me want to drop it half way through It filled me with disgust, but then I realised was the book any less confronting like these Hollywood movies that are made for PG rating to earn better bucks and thus failing to leave any mark in the history of cinema , would not deliver the message it was meant to So, confronting, brutal, but also deep, touching so many levels that I need to read it again, because I feel that this first shock of the reading [...]
Spit and shit, blood and urine, vomit and semen there are an awful lot of bodily fluids in Dead Europe Here Europe is not the contained and refrigerated anatomical specimen of the morgue, but a fetid, rotting corpse, dumped in a ditch, seething with larvae, oozing with saprophytes It s pretty disgusting And, as with Tsiolkas s other books, it puts many readers off Is the detail Tsiolkas affords our everyday bodily functions necessary, or simply a vile mode of expression that betrays an ugly worl [...]
I try to get my hands on books that step outside of mainstream likeability and hopefully lead me down the path of discovery about new Authors This book was no exception Christos Tsiolkas is totally new to me, and his Book Dead Europe , while not wrapped in pretty bows, is a good enough read if you wish to see people, and Europe, from a different perspective there were times where my mouth hung open as I read, and other times I shook my head in disbelief Some books in my life have covered topics [...]
This book was an unexpected page turner, and while it left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied the bleak ending feels cynical, rather than justified , and the author s use of symbolism is occasionally heavy to the point of pendantic, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an unusual marriage of the social novel and the vampire novel Telling twin, but ultimately conjoined narratives about a Greek woman s pact with the devil and her grandson s backpacking trip through Europe, this novel [...]
I felt like I wanted to take a shower after reading this book I have no problem with depiction of sex, be it hetero or homosexual But this was gratuitous and taken to the extreme as a plot device, perhaps in the absence of being able to finish the story any other way The final few chapters apparently the protagonist turned into a pansexual vampire, which wasn t necessarily presaged by the fact that his mother may have had some supernatural powers in a previous existence in Greece, before she emi [...]
I don t know how to rate this book Did I enjoy it No Am I glad that I read it Yes I found the book profoundly disturbing It s nihilistic description of the narrator s journey through Europe in contemporary times is interspersed with an almost mythical account of history, the two hurtling towards each other and merging at the end I felt repulsed to the point of feeling nauseated but still could not stop reading The shockingly stark view of racism, revenge, and literal bloodthirstiness makes for a [...]
Christos Tsiolkas, hear this Jeffrey Eugenides you are not.I m glad I read the Slap before this, or else I d have never read anything by this guy again Not that The Slap was great but it was a decent read, good enough to keep me connected to the end Not this one.This book is all practice and no perfect He tries too hard and there s very little substance behind it all It s all been done before, and much much better By, you know, Jeffrey Eudgenides, for instance Or a gazillion other contemporary n [...]
Thank god that s over with While I m sure it s very well written many people smarter than me have said so I hold them responsible for me not just tossing it aside I found it a test of endurance There were so many grotesque scenes in this book that I would rather expunge from my memory I believe that it s full of metaphors for the past sins of Europe wars, genocide and the like, but in my ignorance, I found I was none the wiser I did think there were some interesting comments on Greek society whi [...]
This not a book for the faint hearted and while the intellectual may consider this an exciting work, for me it is profoundly disturbing Anti Semitism and graphic sex linked with superstition are intertwined with history and the present and the whole narrative strikes me as an autobiographical search for identity in a world where nothing is certain any.
I enjoyed Tsiolkas s The Slap very much I liked its targeting of both the middle classes in general, and people who are precious about their dreadfully behaved children The Slap has an honesty about it that was very refreshing Whatever else Tsiolkas may be, he is not a poseur of a writer no self aggrandisement, no self conscious style over content and writes things if not as they are, then as he sees them And of course, the honesty is not enough on its own, and Tsiolkas is a very fine writer, an [...]
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This outrageous sleazy and at times confronting book fascinated me, but it was not enjoyable to read I think perhaps I didn t understand it really The alternating stories of different generations of a family, was ok at first The tale of life in the rural Greek village,from the early 20th century, was engaging.The story of the migrant descendants of the Greek peasants, in Australia post WWII began really well, but just disintegrated for me once the the young man Isaac,now an adult in the early 21 [...]
Worse than The Slap, this novel is Tsiolkas attempt at something like magical realism Again all of his characters are drug snorting, racist mouthpieces who express sentiments that you d never likely hear from the mouth of a real person As the protagonist tours Europe and describes the penises of its citizens, he gradually breaks down into nothingness, rendering the novel pointless and the legacy of the past toothless.Tsiolkas displays a nonsensical hang up on Judaism that is handled clumsily and [...]
Ok, if you like your writing raw and confronting Tsiolkas is your man A haunting return to Europe, a stalking demon and blood lust the toilet scene on the train almost made me lose my breakfast weave their way through your senses, strangle your sensibility, test your stamina and spit you out feverish and hungry for .Tsiolkas writes beautifully and I ask myself how much of this is biographical Regardless it s an excellent novel that interestingly seems to draw some inspiration from Bram Stoker s [...]
Let me just advance a theory that Christos Tsiolkas went to Europe and came away a bit disturbed His disturbance plays out in the novel, which has just been made into a film The subject matter of the novel racism, decadence, the shackles of tradition and myth is pretty horrible and he the writer has not been able to manage this stuff at all well This book is like roadkill Horrible No stars.
still contemplating this one, far too much for my poor little braingraphic, confronting, dark wow, extremelythemes of our time, our world lots and hugesupernatural in there toohatred, tenderness, love, murder, evil, demons, depravity, grossness, blood, soil, anti semitism, superstitionwowno rating i hated it and loved it this is no simple book, this book continues to be in my head, not for its graphicness but for its ideas
I had looked forward to reading this book ever since my first year of university when all of the lecturers were raving about the literary genius that was Christos Tsiolkas and his new book The Slap I wasn t interested in The Slap, but had heard of other people saying how amazing his previous book Dead Europe was and that it was truly scary I was disappointed firstly by the lack of horror in the book and secondly by how depraved a lot of the content is And personally I felt that it didn t add any [...]
God is dead, Marx is dead, Greece and Europe are dead and Australia doesn t feel quite good either So, why is the book title Dead Europe While the book doesn t lack of some narrative quality, its title implies analytical skills that Mr Tsiolkas really doesn t possess He looks at an entire continent in in 400 pages and his glares are rushed and superficial.There is a wide spread attitude in the Anglo Saxon media that blights and belittles every positive thing done on the continent, an attitude th [...]
The theme of the book is nicely summed up by Isaac when he comments when we are tourists, we ony see that part of a city which has given itself over to the trade of travel Tsiolkas sends his protagonist on a meandering tour of Europe that attempts to embrace its ugliness, violence, hatred and bigotry.Isaac is gay, and his moral denigration is symbolised by a descent into physical debauchery across the fleshpots of Europe that makes for very, very difficult reading.Tsiolkas goes out of his way to [...]
I wrestled back and forth with this one throughout masterpiece, or revolting, pretentious, unfocussed twaddle Parts of it were distasteful, sexual relations was brutal, and exploitative But at least in the beginning there was a point There were some sublimely written passages The older story set in just post WW2 Greece was coherent, grounded even with its want of better phrase magical realism Racism, suspicion, ignorance, stupid faith, anti Semitism were well written and coherent The modern stor [...]
Imagine if Nick Giannopoulos and the team at Wogs Out Of Work decided to rewrite William Burrough s Naked Lunch Well, this would be it Tsiolkas shows us the Europe tourists rarely see the dark, old, dead Europe behind the cheesy piazzas and museums Some people might find the prose style, and subject matter, confronting Good The darkness of people and places the protagonist encounters on his journey to discover his ancestral roots is balanced by the lyrically beautiful scenes of oral sex and sodo [...]
this book started off pretty well but towards the end it was so OTT with the gore and reality that it just got depressing also the main character s total inability to deal with his obvious health mental issues got frustrating as he chose simply to continually vomit everywhere, drink blood and fuck everyone he met not much there to identify empathise with have read other christos tsiolkas books where i didn t like any of the main characters the slap as case in point but issac really annoyed alien [...]
This book is like a stinking odor it demands your attention and provokes a response, even if you find much of it offensive.Tsiolkas draws together many different strands the relationship between migrants and their children with their ancestral lands, commentary on 21st century Europe, anti semitism, political ideology, the nature of religion and the decadence of contemporary sexuality in a way that seems even relevant today in the age of Brexit, the Greek economic crisis and Syrian refugees tha [...]
Probably my least favourite Tsiolkas novel in that I wasn t keen to continue along for the ride as it progressively disintegrated into its dark last acts That said, loved the concept and love Tsiolkas ability to frame the uneasy relationship between Europe and Australians of European descent.
My favourite Tsiolkas powerful, raging, unforgiving, molten An unforgettable read.
When I began this book I expected The Forgotten Garden but better Instead I got Invisible Monsters a guilty pleasure It is a book with no class extraordinary explicit, exploitive, and full of sex, drugs, and violence However, they both have surprising amount of heart.I read Barracuda last year but it put me in an weird position I thought it was a very well written book really bringing to life the emotional state of a young, confident athlete, with all the burdens of class, family and success pla [...]
I ordered the book from the library after seeing the film adaption of another Tsiolkas novel, Head On He is a powerful writer, his style reminds of Michael Cunningham, who tackles a whole range of subjects that are still relevant today This book looks at cultural trauma and how it passed on across time and space throughout family stories and mythology He weaves together the story of the protagonist exploring his families connections in Europe and the politics of those who came before in the hill [...]