Christo Zaprianov - critique

Dans la presse internationale:


‘For this Bulgarian novel, I would throw away the production of a whole generation of German writers’


- Stella Thebridge

“This story from a Bulgarian writer speaks of harsh conditions in a work camp where men go to earn money quickly in order to pay bills back home. Inevitably the reality is somewhat different and the privations of working life combined with the emptiness of the Taiga mean that usually the men resort to drink and resultant anti-social behaviour. The protagonist is working to pay for medical treatment for his son and is determined to keep apart from the heavy drinking. He remains an observer for the most part, recording some appalling acts and also some unexpected humanitarian ones. The novel shows some triumph of the human spirit in what appears to be a desolate and desperate situation for most of the men.

Characters are well-drawn and the translation makes for a smooth read. The book is short – just over 100 pages - and expresses much in what is left unsaid or assumed. In this respect Saprjanov shows great craftsmanship as a writer. The book certainly deserves a wide readership, but some of the content is not for the faint-hearted. Comparison with Solzhenitsyn has been made by critics. While the subject matter might have some similarities, and useful insights could be gained from both about aspects of life behind the old Iron Curtain, The Flayed Dog is a novella where Solzhenitsyn’s works are generally long novels (with the exception of One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich).

This could form a fascinating read for book groups, allowing discussion of wider issues around Communist regimes and life in Eastern Europe .”



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