The Coming - Nikolaidis
In a small town on the Adriatic coast, a local detective is content to sacrifice truth for the sake of telling his clients the stories they want to hear. At first, The Coming reads as a traditional detective novel, but suddenly changes form with the advent of snow in midsummer. When the town library burns down under mysterious circumstances, the detective’s long-lost son begins to get involved in the investigations from afar. He takes the reader on excursions into history and recounts the life of Fra Dolcino, a medieval heretic who announced the return of the Messiah and also illuminates the life and work of Sabbatai Zevi, a Renaissance cabalist, who maintained that he himself was the Messiah. We learn that Sabbatai Zevi died in Ulcinj and left behind a manuscript, The Book of Return, which remains hidden. The unsolved mysteries of both past and present, as well as environmental anomalies, serve to create the sense of an impending apocalypse, giving way in the final chapter to a post-apocalyptic reality.
’THE COMING is an explosive mixture on three levels: a hard-boiled investigation, the story of an impending global catastrophe, and the description of daily life in a small Balkan city. Imagine Dashiell Hammett meeting Umberto Eco, and both of them meeting Orhan Pamuk! If there is justice in the world, Nikolaidis' novel should become a bestseller bigger than the novels of James Patterson or John Grisham. And since there is no justice in the world, let us hope that a divine caprice will nonetheless make this insanely readable page-turner a mega success.’’ Slavoj Žižek
''So the coming is Andrej's first book to reach us in English.... like all good Central European fiction it is about a lot more than it seems on the surface. For on the surface it could be view as a crime novel....but also cynical and comic with a touch of the historic novel and some epistolary touches ...I must admit Will Firth - looking for a new voice from this region and the new country of Montenegro - has turned up a real gem and a strong new voice. That reminds you of why you read books in translation: it is to see worlds through different eyes and concepts.'' Stu Allen, WinstonsdadBlog
''Nikolaidis is a writer of great vibrancy and visual poetry. His descriptive prose is a joy to read. It begs to be read at ease, to luxuriate in the language and the choice of words. While it took me longer than usual to finish, this was not because the story was dull or tedious, but because I savoured each page and did not want this thought-provoking book to end.'' Marcus Agar, W!ld Rooster
''There are so many quotes from this work which I could use to show the in-depth ruminations on parenthood, father-son relationships, the City of Ulcinj, what is truth, what is sin?...Another wonderful work from Andrej Nikolaidis, peppered with thought provoking snippets, a fine plot, and multi layered through two voices and an accompanying sound track. Nikolaidis’ work deserves to be more widely explored and read, and personally I can’t wait for the third instalment, 'Til Kingdom Come' from Istros Books in July 2015.''
Tony Messenger (Messenger's Booker)
The Coming by Andrej Nikolaidis: Istros Books, 2012
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