Dead Europe, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

Isaac, a young Australian photographer, is travelling through Europe. His whole life he has longed for the sophistication and wealth of the Europe of his father's stories, the Europe at the centre of civilization and culture.

But behind the facade of a unified and globalized contemporary society, he finds a history-blasted wasteland, a place forever condemned by the ghosts of its unspeakable past.

In the mountain village in the Balkans where his mother was born, he unearths ancient terrors that have not been laid to rest, and perhaps never can be. Part long-forgotten myth, part meditation on the violence and tragedy of contemporary Europe, Dead Europe is an unsettling story about blood lust and blood revenge; a novel of blazing brilliance from the acclaimed author of The Slap.

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I picked this book up in Munich thinking it was a new work by Tsiolkas - one following "The Slap" but it turns out this is the earlier book. It is a wonderfully written, confronting, thought provoking and sometimes just outright disgusting novel and I'm not sure I'm able to describe what it all "means". The constant anti-Semitic references, the focus on blood and history, the images of a Europe that is dying - these themes all carry deeper meanings which I am still trying to fathom. I do find Tsiolkas to have a rather negative view of humanity and our motivations. The book is not always pleasant reading but it is definitely worth reading.

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