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208 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Trade Paper, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $19.95)

Publication Date: January 2018

ISBN 9781908236302

Rights: US, CA, SAM & CAR

Istros Books (Jan 2018)

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The debut novel by one of Slovenian's most important authors, Aleš Šteger: poet, essayist, publisher

It's Carnival time 2012, and the Slovenian city of Maribor is European Capital of Culture. In an attempt to maximize profit, local politicians and showman peddle every possible art form. Amidst the hype, dramatist Adam Bely and Cuban-Austrian journalist Rosa Portero pursue a secret mission: to track down and overthrow the sinister octopus of 13 selected persons that seems to be in control. On the way, they encounter a variety of important citizens, all entangled in a web of corruption and lies. In the tradition of Bulgakov, Gogol and Kafka Aleš Šteger lets the forces of good and evil collide in this grandiose literary thriller. This is a debut novel filled with striking personae, haunting images and a grotesque plot. It proves, in the end, to be a journey into the heart of a European darkness.


"Šteger did in the Slovenian what Michel Houllebecq did in the French literary cosmos: with sarcasm and grotesque he took revenge on the world of media, journalism, literature, theatre, law, politics and many others." â€â€Delo

"On one level, it is a fun whodunnit as Bely and Portero try to track down the member of the Great Orc. However it is also a hugely funny book, mocking all and sundry, including the head of the Terminal 12 programme at the Marx City Gallery, who happens to be called Aleš Šteger. Above all, of course, it is another brilliant East European novel that uses massively exaggerated ribald humour to damn the ruling elite and political corruption of the country." â€â€The Modern Novel

Author Biography

Aleš Šteger is a poet, essayist and novelist, writing in Slovenian. He belongs to a generation of writers that started to publish right after the fall of Yugoslavia. Šteger's books have been translated into 16 languages and his poems appeared in internationally renowned magazines and newspapers, such as New Yorker, Die Zeit, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, TLS and many others. His English translation of Knjiga reci (Thee Book of Things) won two major U.S. translation awards (BTBA award and AATSEL). Aleš received the title Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French State.