Spring Flowers, Spring Frost – Ismail Kadare

I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, what with reading Kadare before February, but as I know I have a tendency to fall behind on challenges like these, I figured being ahead of the game for once wouldn’t hurt.

Spring Flowers, Spring Frost is a very strange book. As the back has a quote comparing Kadare to both Kafka and Gogol, I don’t suppose there was any reason to be surprised by this.

I do like some of the narrative devices Kadare uses. The counter-chapters are quite effective, and I laughed out loud (yes, literally) when, after a few counter-chapters I got to the heading «By way of a counter-chapter». The story is certainly disjointed, but that works quite well. I found the ending to be rather abrupt, but I’m not sure why I expected any neat tying up of strings, that’s hardly how the world works and it’s not as if «and they lived happily ever after» would be a satisfying end to this story in any sort of way.

All in all Kadare was an interesting aquaintance, and I think I’ll be reading more of his books. The experience certainly makes me look forward to the rest of this challenge.

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