Helpful votes received on reviews: 83% (5 of 6)
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Top Reviewer Ranking: 450,255 - Total Helpful Votes: 5 of 6
Killing Pilgrim by Alen Mattich
Killing Pilgrim by Alen Mattich
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Zagreb, 1991. Marko della Torre alias the Gringo, works for a Croatian state security less than two months old. Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from the Yugoslav republic in June 1991, and the new Croatian government “nationalized” former federal buildings. Marko had been a member of the regional headquarters of the Yugoslavian Department of Internal Security (UDBA) in Zagreb, Department IV, which was responsible for investigating extra-judicial killings.

<b>“[Della Torre watched] the watchers everyone feared…No other secret police force in the world was as successful at killing people beyond its borders—not the KGB, not the Stasi, not the Securitate, not Savak, not… Read more
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"Time became more important the closer to death one was, so an extra few hours to make peace with the world were worth more than years."

This is Marra's debut novel, and in it we see his queerly outsized talent and deep knowledge of human motivation and possibility. Where did he get the knowledge from which he created this book, and how did he come to know it? In what he calls his Bibliography, Marra credits Anna Politkovskaya's A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, Åsne Seierstad's The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War, and Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya, New Edition by Sebastian Smith for giving him much of the background he needed to imagine… Read more
How It All Began by Penelope Lively
How It All Began by Penelope Lively
Oh, I dearly loved this book about an event which spawned a series of follow-on events, some of which could be termed momentous, in the context of a life. The story was funny and true and ridiculous and painful and all those things that life can be. It was comforting to hear about folks whose lives had hit a major speed bump but who managed, by shuffling the deck, to usher in a new chapter in their lives, one that they liked even better. But it is lightly told, and not so painful for us, safely behind our reading glasses, sipping tea and considering just how awful divorce could be...for the characters of course.

I was also struck by parallels between the theme in this book by… Read more