First off, I'd like to say that this novel is full of very good images, and, in a sense, is a decent piece of surrealism. I've enjoyed Zivkovic's work in the past, and while I didn't like this book at all, he pulls off all his usual tricks. If not for one very prominent problem, I would have enjoyed it immensely.
The narrator is impossibly, obnoxiously neurotic, steeped in old world pretensions, and makes every page a chore. Rather than focusing on the imagery itself, Zivkovic chooses to immerse us in the narrator's petty attempts to "maintain his gentlemanly pride", all of which fail immensely.
Though certainly the novel's structure recalls the asymptomatic structures of Kafka or Kobo Abe, and the supernatural edge of Bulgakov, rather than feeling sympathetic for the narrator, after the first ten pages, I read most of the book wanting to hit him in the face with a baseball bat. This story came off feeling like third-rate Murakami, and though Zivkovic's imagination still shows through, I could hardly bring myself to appreciate it. It also feels, at times, far too much like a cheap thriller.
Zivkovic can do much, much better than this. I generally enjoy his work, but I was looking forward to reading an actual novel, as opposed to his usual mosaics. This is also by far the worst his prose has ever been. It was stilted, obnoxious, and never, ever beautiful. Even the strong images could have been handled much, much better.
I usually don't bother writing negative reviews, but I can't remember the last time I felt so let down by an author I've enjoyed (to some extent, at least) in the past. This novel was, for the most part, nothing but a disappointment.