The Scribbler

11 September 2007

Zoli by Colum McCann

Filed under: books,Zoli — The Scribbler @ 19:27

So I haven’t really been keeping up with my reading list. You knew I wouldn’t, didn’t you?

Anyway, the last book I read was Zoli by Colum McCann. This really caught my eye in the book shop because of its attractive cover illustration by Petra Borner, and also because I’ve previously read and enjoyed This Side of Brightness by the same author.

According to the blurb on the back it’s based loosely on the true story of a Gypsy poet and it’s set in and around Slovakia during the Second World War. 

The Gypsy world is depicted in great detail and the book really comes to life when it focuses on the community and characters. It falls into sharp contrast against the deprivation of the bleak landscape. This is also a story about love and loss, told from different points of view as Zoli’s lover pursues her across Eastern Europe.

Colum McCann is a wonderful writer, full of intelligence. But for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I failed to really connect with this book. Zoli remained fleeting and distant, just out of my reach. 

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