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Bosnian Chronicle [Paperback]

Ivo Andric , Celia Hawkesworth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Jan 1998
Set in the Napoleonic era in the town of Travnik, the book presents the power struggles within the region.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: The Harvill Press (30 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860461212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860461217
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bosnia: unchanging and unchangeable? 20 Feb 2007
This deceptively slow moving epic story uses as its primary motif the life of the French Consul, Daville, during the seven years of his office in Travnik, deep in a remote valley in Bosnia, 'beyond the edge of Europe', and that of his counterpart in the Austrian Residence. As Napoleon's rise and fall pass as an ebb and flow across the continent, life amongst the Bosnians remains little changed by such events despite the changing fortunes of the two Consuls and their Turkish Masters, the Viziers. As Daville through his own life experiences the Ancien Regime, Revolution, Napoleon and the Restoration of the Monarchy so the fate of the Moslem, Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox Bosnian populations and their interplay are skilfully drawn. Andric's story telling and evocative accounts of Bosnia are superb. He is also skillful in drawing lessons from those distant times for those in Western Europe to understand the complexities of this harsh, unforgiving and unforgettable land.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A brilliant account of Napoleonic history as seen from the Balkans. The book describes the views of various foreigners in Travnik, Bosnia. It is far from a work of fiction. This book is deeply historical at its heart. There is a great focus on character and the unity of foreigners in a hostile environment. It mirrors the 'modern' day situation of Bosnia and the plight future generations will have in this 'hostile' land.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andric's best work by far 9 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Most people, whether from the former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, tend to say that "Bridge on the Drina" is Andric's best work. Well, they are wrong. Bosnian Chronicle ("Travnicka hronika" in the original) is Andric's true masterpiece. Nominally it presents the life of Travnik, the Bosnian provincial capital during Ottoman rule, during the early 19th century in the eyes of the French and German consuls stationed there. Andric says so much about central Bosnia in the way he shows the effect the people and the land have on these foreigners. Stunning, beautiful. If you can't read it in the original language, Hitrec's translation is surprisingly good. If you read nothing else by Andric, read this.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Ivo Andric 19 Sep 2004
By Vladimir Miletic - Published on Amazon.com
"Travnicka hronika" (The Bosnian Story, The Time of the Consuls... etc.) is Andric's second best work. I don't like ranking books, but I will dare to do it now. His major work "The Bridge on the Drina" (Na Drini cuprija) is a work of such originality and power, unequalled in literature... This book, however, uses a more conservative method, it talks about a smaller period of time and has a significantly smaller gallery of characters, all of which are, of course, very believable and beautifully depicted.

After opening it for the first time, I couldn't stop reading. It was so captivating that I read it in twice in the same week. Not many books do this for me.

"Bosnian Story" follows Austro-Hungarian and French consuls in the Bosnian city of Travnik over the period of five-six years. Andric didn't do much research for his novels, all his major works were written in Belgrade, during WWII, and all that time he almost never left his apartment. It is amazing that one can posses such great knowledge of Travnik and Bosnia, and most impressive of all, his depiction of Turkish, French and Austro-Hungarian politics is so accurate and clear.

What attracts me the most in Andric's works is his clear and simple, yet beautifully sounding sentence.

I strongly recommend you read this one. Chances are, you won't be disappointed. Simpler and less ambitious in approach, this book should perhaps be read before his masterpiece "The Bridge on the Drina."
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andric's Best 15 July 2003
By A. Schur - Published on Amazon.com
I read this book a few years ago, and still think about its stories and themes. This brilliant novel opens a window to the small Bosnian town of Travnik (Andric's hometown) where representatives of the great European empires have come to play out their epochal hostilities under the suspicious eyes of the local townfolk. While the novel takes place in the Napoleonic era, the story was written (as was "Bridge on the Drina") while Andric was under house arrest during World War II, and thus its story of great forces coming to shake up a small town can be read in light of more recent world changing events. I made a point to visit Travnik on a trip to Bosnia two years ago, and felt as if I already knew the town intimately: the remains of the Pasha's palace on the hill is still there just as Andric describes it, as is the town nestled in the rolling Bosnian hills replete with Turkish fountains and monuments. Sadly, the multiethnic character of the town is gone now, as Serbs such as Andric himself are hard to come by in this part of Bosnia, and Jews are even more difficult to find. By reading this book, however, one can briefly visit Travnik in its multiethnic heyday, and enjoy the depiction of comraderie and sparring between the different local ethnic groups before the age of nationalism truly took hold. Everyone I have met from the former Yugoslavia cites this novel as Andric's best work.
Incidentally, this book has been translated as Travnik Chronicles (the original title), Bosnian Chronicle, and Days of the Consuls (translated by Celia Hawkesworth). Also, a collection of Andric short stories, entitled "The Damned Yard" in the edition I have, also features several more stories set in Travnik around the same era.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 13 Sep 2000
By N. Marcus - Published on Amazon.com
Andric's novel describes the events in a provincial town within the Ottoman Empire during the Napoleonic era. The story is told from the viewpoint of the French consul, a western rationalist. The interactions of the French consul, his Austrian counterparts, and members of their households with the local residents of various religions, and with the Turkish vizier are related with great sympathy and humanity for all the characters. The book is wise and perceptive. The translation is excellent.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel 7 Jun 2000
By Mark Nuckols - Published on Amazon.com
A great novel about Balkans, and Europe, and life. The French Consul's sojourn in Travnik is beautifully rendered, and Andric describes well the social tensions among the various peoples of Bosnia and a Frenchman's difficulty making sense of Balkan life. I can't recommend it highly enough, and it is certainly as good as the more famous Bridge on the Drina, and perhaps better.
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