the best sections are exceptionally powerful and moving. As the debut of a young writer, this is a wonderfully inventive and impressive novel (Josh Lacey GUARDIAN)
Enchanting from the first word to the final.. This sad and magical book captures the impact of war on childhood ( GOOD HOUSEKEEPING)
Aleksander's endearing attempts to accept that his homeland has changed for ever mark this out as another impressive novel to emerge from the Balkan conflict (Claire Allfree METRO)
A poignant and often very funny debut novel ( WATERSTONE'S BOOKS QUARTERLY)
An imaginative boy's life changes when war comes to town in the wonderful debut How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone ( SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE)
there is some kind of innate divine spark animating this story.. the literary talent on show in this book is simply world-class (Hugh Tynan IRISH EXAMINER)
This is a deeply poignant and yet enchating portrayal of the Bosnian war as witnessed by a child by new writer Stanisic. (Melissa McClements FINANCIAL TIMES)
An impressive debut from a gifted young writer (Matt Gilbert THE BIG ISSUE)
An original literary voice is exceptionally rare. Yet Bosnian Sasa Stanisic's debut novel has an entrancing spirit all of its own (Melissa McClements FINANCIAL TIMES)
Stanisic bravely and ambitiously examines ways of perceiving history and identity in a war-torn world (Anita Sethi THE INDEPENDENT)
this is a debut brimming with poignancy, humour and, most importantly, potential. (Will Gore TIME OUT)
the tone of Stanisic's voice is consistent: plaintive but not self-pitying, defiant, wary of false hope.. authentic, adventurous yet effective (Charlie Hill Times Literary Supplement)
Aleksandar is Comrade-in-Chief of fishing, the best magician in the non-aligned States and painter of unfinished things. He knows the first chapter of Marx's Das Kapital by heart but spends most of his time playing football in the Bosnian town of Visegrad on the banks of the river Drina. When his grandfather, a master storyteller, dies of the fastest heart attack in the world while watching Carl Lewis's record, Aleksandar promises to carry on the tradition. However when the shadow of war spreads to Visegrad, the world as he knows it stops. Suddenly it is not important how heavy a spider's life weighs, or why Marko's horse is related to Superman. Suddenly it is important to have the right name and to pretend that the little Muslim girl Asija is his sister. Then Aleksandar's parents decide to flee to Germany and he must leave his new friend behind.
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