The Son - Nikolaidis
The Son follows one night in the life of a hero with no name, a writer whose life is falling apart. That afternoon, his wife left him, while for many years he has been in conflict with his father, who blames him for his mother’s death. Incapable of finding inner calm, he leaves into the warm, Mediterranean night, in the city of Ulcinj, itself a multilayered mixture of European dimensions, African influences, and the communist past.
The hero of The Son is a man who can’t adapt to new times and rules. On his journey into the night, he meets an assortment of characters: a piano student from Vienna who has abandoned his musical career and converted to Islam, a radical Christian preacher and a group of refugees from Kosovo. In the style of Mihail Bulgakov, the characters meet in the old city of Ulcinj, at the Square of the Slaves – a location where the pirates who lived in the city until the 19th century would bring and sell captured slaves, including Miguel de Cervantes, according to legend.
'The blurb of Andrej Nikolaidis’ The Son describes the novella as following “one night in the life of a hero with no name”. It is perhaps more accurate to describe the narrator-cum-protagonist as an antihero, at times reminiscent of Patrick Bateman with his interest in serial killers and a fixation with creating soundtracks to moments in his life. However, it is arguably this that makes the book all the more triumphant; in spite of the narrator’s scathing, snobbish views on humanity, we are compelled to read them.'
Debjani Biswas-Hawkes in The Literateur
''...makes Samuel Beckett look positively cheery; yet the relentless pessimism has an oddly invigorating effect.''
Five Star Review in The Independent
'Although this is a short work, only running to 115 pages, it is multi layered and complex in its observations. Ultimately a story about the father/son relationship, this is also a moving story of Montenegro and the futility of existence. Another great work from the Balkan region and yet another from Istros Books that I thoroughly enjoyed. A region I will continue to explore given the wealth of writing talent.''
Tony Messenger, Messenger's Booker
'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.''
Marcus Agar, Journalist. Blogger. Copywriter. W!ildRooster
The Son, Andrej Nikolaidis, ISBN: 978-1908236128
Istros Books, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
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