Our Man in Iraq

Our Man in Iraq

3.7 (264 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author)  , Translated by 

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2003: As Croatia lurches from socialism into globalized capitalism, Toni, a cocky journalist in Zagreb, struggles to balance his fragile career, pushy family, and hotheaded girlfriend. But in a moment of vulnerability he makes a mistake: volunteering his unhinged Arabic-speaking cousin Boris to report on the Iraq War. Boris begins filing Gonzo missives from the conflict zone and Toni decides it is better to secretly rewrite his cousin's increasingly incoherent ramblings than face up to the truth. But when Boris goes missing, Toni's own sense of reality - and reliability - begins to unravel. Our Man In Iraq, the first of Robert Perisic's novels to be translated into English, serves as an unforgettable introduction to a vibrant voice from Croatia. With his characteristic humor and insight, Perisic gets to the heart of life made and remade by war.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 15mm | 291g
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1908236043
  • 9781908236043
  • 792,046

Review quote

"Despite the serious themes, the novel is largely comic and in many ways falls into the same genre of satirical anti-war novels that includes The Good Soldier by Jaroslav Hasek and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Perisic constructs a series of long and entertaining scenes full of quirky dialogue and rhythmic interior monologue." - The Times Literary Supplement "Robert Perisic depicts, with acerbic wit, a class of urban elites who are trying to reconcile their nineties rebellion with the reality of present-day Croatia... The characters' snide remarks could easily sound cynical but the novel has a levity informed by the sense of social fluidity that comes with democracy." - The New Yorker " ... terrifically witty and original... in addition to being a delightfully acerbic primer on a literarily underrepresented part of Europe, Our Man in Iraq may well prove to be one of those rare cases where something is actually gained in translation." - The Toronto Star "Perisic's smoothly told and unfailingly engaging story takes off swiftly and never falters. Toni's is a tragic-comic tale enriched by layers of meditation on the broad and lasting effects of war, and the peculiarities of contemporary media ... How deeply satisfying it is to hear Perisic's wry voice take a different angle, and tell a different story." - ZYZZYVA "Given the uncountable billions of words they have dedicated to the war in Iraq, it might be easy for Americans to think of it as belonging solely to them. Even its possession by the Iraqis can feel tenuous at times. So it is a refreshing reminder of the new global village to read a novel like Robert Perisic's "Our Man in Iraq," which studies the fighting in Baghdad from the distant shores of Croatia." - The Boston Globe " ... a perceptive and affective view of life in Zagreb." - Time Out New York "What's most compelling about Perisic's novel are the relentlessly insightful one-liners, offering poignant commentary on the unsettled day-to-day of a society trying to find its footing after devastating violence and in the throes of nascent capitalism... this smart, cutting book powerfully illustrates the horrible hangover of war." - Publisher's Weekly "Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters." - Jonathan Franzen "With formidable insight, elan and a noir-ish relish of backstreet manoeuvres, Perisic asks how a nation can move on after conflict, how citizens can overcome the feeling that 'Whoever survived all that Balkan shit, whoever breathed the fumes of that hell, had to feel defeat.'" - Prospect Magazine "Engaging, humourous and often thought-provoking..." - Wild Rooster "It is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking story, which, while recalling some of the comic greats that have gone before, add its own brave, quirky and refreshing perspective to the tradition. An unexpected delight." - A Year of Reading the World "A must-read... brilliantly captures modern-day Zagreb." - The Guardian One of The Millions most anticipated books of 2013
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About Tim Judah

Robert Perisic has created his own audience and his own position in modern Croatian literature, and his books portray an authentic view of society in transition and the (anti)heroes who inhabit it. He is the author of two collections of short stories and one poetry collection; his first novel, Our Man in Iraq, was the bestselling Croatian novel of 2008 and also received the most important Croatian literary award from the daily newspaper Jutarnji list. Robert Perisic's journalistic articles regularly appear in the respected Croatian weekly Globus.
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Rating details

264 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 19% (50)
4 44% (116)
3 27% (72)
2 9% (23)
1 1% (3)
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