Author: Selvedin Avdić
Translated by Coral Petkovich
Longlisted for the Dublin Impac Awards 2014
After nine months of self-imposed isolation following his wife's departure, our hero decides to face his loneliness and join the world once more. However, when the daughter of his old friend Alex appears in his flat one morning with the news that her father has disappeared, he realises that his life is again about to change. As the two search for clues in Alex's war diary, unearthed in a library in Sweden, they come upon tales of unspeakable horror and mystery: meetings with ghosts, a town under siege, demonic brothers who ride on the wings of war, and many more things so dangerous and so precious that they can only be discussed by the dead.
Selvedin Avdic weaves Bosnia's distinctive and multicultural history into a taut tale of psychological horror. The supernatural and the political merge into a compelling secret history of a city living with the effects of war.
'Catherine Baker, author of 'Sounds of the Borderland: Popular Music, War and Nationalism in Croatia since 1991'
"Longlisted for the Impac award, this remarkable debut illuminating the Bosnian war..."
"It's quite unlike anything I've read before, but it has all the consistency and force of something major and assured."
"It is the most extraordinary novel...."
For all its wry humour and playfulness, this is a deeply serious exploration into the legacy of the Bosnian War, in which the fantastic elements are representative of an historical trauma too awful to describe directly.
David Evans - The Independent
"In Avdić’s gripping debut novel, the Bosnian War, with all its undeniable horrors and atrocities, is presented as but one dimension of a much more insidious, harrowing matrix of power, coercion and control, one which is grounded in the economic exploitation of workers, the ruthlessness of wealthy owners of local industries, and the owners’ will to expropriate all material means of life, subsistence and production. But don’t let this description intimate that Seven Terrors is a turgid, theoretical book. It is a suspenseful, at times spinechilling Gothic tale which involves mythological demons and rather hilarious observations about women’s fashion magazines, alongside a terrifically compelling discourse on war, violence and humanity’s dark heart."
Ali Alizadeh, Sydney Review of Books
'On March 7, 2005 the hero of Selvedin Avdić’s brilliant and captivating novel Seven Terrors decides to get up out of bed after nine months of self-imposed apathy as a result of having been left by his wife. Ready to return to life, what he actually returns to is horror- horror in both of the above senses, or it might be best described as a place where wartime atrocities and ancient Balkan tales of spirits and demons blend together in a chilling Bosnian concoction.'
'Rarely does a book come along that sweeps you up into it's haunting, terrifying, surreal world and gain the status of unputdownable. Seven Terrors has the proud status of being one of them books and also has honours in sticking around and creeping into your dreams for weeks after.'
Martyn Coppack - Kafka's Cage
'Seven Terrors is a mesmerising book, the first I’ve ever read from Bosnia and one of those books where the reader is never quite sure where the boundary between madness and sanity lies.'
Lisa Hill - ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
'Surreal and compelling – a fascinating and disturbing insight into how lost a man can become when his life vanishes from under his feet.'
Stewart Horn, The British Fantasy Society
'Seven Terrors is quite possibly the most important novel to come from the war in Bosnia thus far. I feel like I've been waiting fifteen years for its arrival.'
Seven Terrors by Selvedin Avdić: Istros Books, 2012
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