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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Greek Tragedies
Maybe I have a short attention span but I like short stories. British publishers have become loth to publish them recently because, "Nobody reads them." Many that are published comprise incomplete scraps that wouldn't make a novel, or literary self-indulgent "stories" in which nothing much happens. No surprise, then, that the short story is in decline in the UK despite...
Published on 6 Jan 2004

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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing short story collection by debut talent
'Little Infamies' begins with an earthquake and ends, appropriately enough, with a flood. Between these two momentous events, reminiscent of biblical judgement, the author relates tales of various characters from a nameless Greek village: the priest, the barber, the whore, the doctor, the midwife and so on.
The collection starts promisingly with a piece that is also...
Published on 24 Jan 2002


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Greek Tragedies, 6 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
Maybe I have a short attention span but I like short stories. British publishers have become loth to publish them recently because, "Nobody reads them." Many that are published comprise incomplete scraps that wouldn't make a novel, or literary self-indulgent "stories" in which nothing much happens. No surprise, then, that the short story is in decline in the UK despite thriving in Europe and the USA.
This excellent collection comes from Greek author, Panos Karnezis. Although his style is not similar to Chekhov's short stories, his subject matter is: ordinary tales about ordinary people, and like Chekhov he manages to make the seemingly ordinary into something fascinating. Karnezis writes about the people in a poor, isolated Greek village with a series of partly-connected tales. Subtle and blatant, he uses just enough detail to propel his narratives along, as his all-too-human subjects display their darker aspects, allowing Karnezis's sly humour to break through the darkness and illuminate these knowing portraits of people trapped by both poverty and geography.
A minor masterpiece; I await a British author of short stories who can equal this achievement.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting debut from a writer to watch, 16 May 2002
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C. Allan (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
Karnezis creates his world with exquisite control and a wonderfully resonant use of language. His extraordinary collection of oddball characters - the bird fancier, the whore, the priest, the driver of the bus to the county capital - love and hate, work, drink and die in an unspecified Greek village, balanced on the border between magic and relentless reality. Playful, imaginative, insightful and deeply humourous,this is a talent to get excited about.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem Of A Book, 30 Sep 2003
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
The short story, that stalwart of the sixties and seventies, has become decidedly unfashionable in the third millennium; what was once a precise and treasured art is now shunned by public and publisher alike. It takes a brave new author - as well as a ground breaking publisher like Vintage - to cut against the grain and write a collection of short stories as his debut but Karnezis seems assured of success if greater riches are to follow. Little Infamies is a saga of stories - episodes is perhaps nearer the mark - about a small, anonymous and lively Greek village and its colourful inhabitants. At times the stories read like novellas with a winding, barely credible plot while at others they seem more like articles from the local paper, capturing as they do the rich essence of character and event. Karnezis is, undoubtedly, a fine story teller in the tradition of Italo Calvino; the delicate balance of fantasy, myth and contemporary fact is a skill which few writers of the short story seem to possess. Angela Carter and Helen Simpson excelled at this and Karnezis displays admirable talent and potential. The nineteen stories in this collection can be read as easily alone as in the context of the book - a sign of a confident, practised story teller. I look forward to his next work and hope the wait is not too long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say… brilliant., 8 May 2003
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
What can I say… brilliant. And believe me I don’t say this very often.
Panos Karnezis takes no prisoners. He goes straight for the jugular.
A brilliant compelling and gripping book that has you surrendered from the outset. Although fictitious, all the stories have an air of credibility that makes you think that yes this might just be true. I am sure this is greatly helped by the fact that Panos Karnezis is himself Greek and therefore provides that air of authenticity often lacking in books where the subject matter is a different culture or place.
The style of writing and story development is just great. It flows and sings as if it was a melody in words.
Great stuff. I hope we see a lot more of him and soon.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical orTragicomical Realism?, 21 Nov 2002
By 
A. H. Lever "Alan Lever" (Bolton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
Whilst I read this book I felt that Karnezis was not only skilfully and deliberately messing about with time and reality but also with my mind, and very enjoyable it was too!
The holidaymaker should be warned that accepted views of affable, charming and welcoming Greek villagers are not only challenged but also assaulted head on then pulverised in this imaginative set of stories. Although the stories seem usually to have a doom-laden quality, the writer also manages to surprise with ironically twisted endings.
Karnezis goes only partway towards "magical realism", so that the reader is left unsure about whether or not centaurs still eke out livings as freak acts in travelling circuses.
Classical and Biblical echoes are there although this great read doesn't need textual analysis to be enjoyed - but what a hard first book to follow Panos!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Greek Delight, 27 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
Panos Karnezis took an old Greek village, spiced it with modern Greek irony and stirred it with a magic Latin-American spoon. The result is 19 delightful stories. His style gives a goldy-oldy feel to them, like the use of omniscient narration.
The stories should be read in order because characters and deeds from one creep up in another and because there is a time-line along them -- in the last story there are even motorways and TV sets.
I look forward to his next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious subtle twists, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
I loved this book! To some extent it reminded me of Roald Dahl's short stories in compilations such as 'Kiss Kiss' with deliciously evil little twists at the end of each story. Some were so subtle it was necessary for me to read them a second time but that is more a reflection on me than on the book. Others have referred to a 'lightness of touch' and also the fact that whilst each story stands alone, the reader will benefit from reading them in the order printed. I would wholeheartedly agree with all of the five-star reviews that have come before me even if some of them are a little over my head.

Buy this book and enjoy it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great new talent? Almost certainly., 8 May 2003
This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
I have read this offering by Panos Karnezis almost in one go. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and a delight to the senses. Mind you I could have done with some longer stories but I am sure this is the start of many more to come.
I am eagerly waiting to see with what Karnezis is going to tempt us next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars deserves to be better known, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
These haunting stories of bitter sweet village life are beautifully crafted and deserve to be much better known to the English speaking reading public.
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4.0 out of 5 stars little infamies, 24 Sep 2013
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Sunny (Hampshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Little Infamies (Paperback)
Another good book which again is about Greece, I realised after I had started to read it I had read it before but that did not matter.
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Little Infamies
Little Infamies by Panos Karnezis (Paperback - 1 May 2003)
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