Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Please disregard the previous post

It turns out that at least one Croatian author has written crime novels that take advantage of the country's recent political changes in ways that make me wish his work were available in English. Goran Tribuson's novels about the private investigator Nikola Banic give "a historical panorama of the Croatian society, from the beginning of the fall of socialism to the ups and downs of the transitional period. Tribuson has not only given literary legitimacy to the crime genre in Croatian literature, he also bases novels of this genre on the everyday reality of the local community."

Banic, a "Croatian version of Phil Marlowe, is a slightly unconventional detective type because he is a jazz fan, a beer drinker, a dedicated smoker and a man burdened with many family problems." Because of this, according to the article from which this information is taken, "he has become very popular among the readers."

On the one hand, this may seem an overly familiar description. On the other, interesting things can happen when sensitive authors adapt the traditional American hard-boiled form to the situations of their own countries. Perhaps Tribuson is similar to Yasmina Khadra in this respect. If so, he's well worth reading.

In one respect, both Goran Tribuson and Pavao Pavlicic, another Croatian writer, are similar to to such American crime writers as Frederic Brown, Donald Westlake and the early Elmore Leonard, in that all have written in more than one popular genre. Leonard wrote westerns; the others have all written science fiction in addition to their crime stories.

© Peter Rozovsky 2007
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