Talking the “City On Fire” with Garth Risk Hallberg by Katerina Charisi

ovicover_11_12_16I knew all about “City On Fire” before even comes to Greece. It’s one of these books that fame reaches you before them and it’s kind of scary. An enormous 1000 pages novel, with such an impressive ad campaign, would have risked to be judge only by it and read out of curiosity, something definitely unfair for the actual book. Truth said, I was curious too. Coincidentally the timing was wrong. The book came to me late October where Athens was still in a summer mood while the book was in total winter scent. I remember this though: I was so stunned by the book itself, that after the first look, I had to put it down and make sure my hands were clean enough, not to somehow spoil it or something.

An embossed, full of promises cover and in the inside a fine white paper with scattered rectangles in the tones of grey. A beautiful publication we rarely see the Greece of crisis and poor paper quality. I wanted to start the book immediately, but it was in the middle of a warm Greek autumn and I just wanted to experience the book with the cold wind hitting the windows outside. So, I hidden the book in my closet, under a stack of clothes, and waited. It took me almost a month to start reading it and that was when I saw the first signs of winter: Two days of furious wind, hard rain and a breathtaking cold. Only then I let the “City On Fire” to carry me away.

The “City On Fire” is not a book to read between small breaks in your day. It is neither a book to read for relaxation and entertainment purposes only. This book demands your dedication and full concentration; expects from you to hold back the pinches of everyday’s routine and empty yourself from anything that is yours. And trust me, it pays you back full. It pays you back with a magical journey in a world you never been before and there is where its magic lays: “You are there too, and you live it. Like an invisible spectator hiding in the shadows, next to its fringe characters, motley heroes and dreamers. Thankfully the novel fortunate in our country through a wonderful version and translation.”

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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