Sirocco

  • Original language: Croatian

  • Pages: 376

  • Date of Publication: April 2019.

  • ISBN: 978-953358124-8

  • Type of Binding: hardback

  • Format: 225 mm

  • Weight: 575 g

What Naples is to Italy, that is Split to Croatia. The city on the Mediterranean, “the most beautiful city in the world”, city of crazy football fans, of gentle and cruel humor, a place of many contradictions. Its omnipresent image of fast-rising touristic gem hides the reality filled with many problems, a reality of destroyed industry and of cruiser tourism that transformed the city and made it uninhabitable for its residents.

City of Split, swept by warm and humid southern wind that grows stronger day by day and is believed to bring bad mood and uneasiness, is a stage for Lujanović’s story whose main protagonists are a bunch of peculiar and colorful local characters, city buffoons and jesters, the very symbol of Split. Sirocco follows the story of Pavle Kafadar, called Paško, a young intellectual and scientist, disappointed and deceived by promises of a career and the impossibility of achieving it because of murky business of untouchable city elite. Paško decides to come up with a perfect crime that never took place, but that will expose the corruption and contemptuous behavior of intellectual and political elites that rule the city.

Disillusioned, Paško becomes obsessed and lusts for revenge, seeing himself as Captain Ahab in his quest for catching the “beast” that wronged him. This utter powerlessness to take control of his life, to live a decent life and pursue a career, brings him closer to those at the bottom of social hierarchy: the city losers, homeless, alcoholics and mentally unstable, all those unable to find their place in the sun and who accept his rebellion against the system. Paško puts all his efforts in constructing a complex network of events that he can no longer control and that unfold like domino effect and bring havoc to the city, unexpectedly discovering true crime that happened more than twenty years ago.

Sirocco skillfully plays with crime genre, revealing the most unusual and captivating crime story, and at the same time brings us a gentle love story of Paško’s affection for one woman and social commentary of a city that is lost. It is an excellent homage to Split, different than the one we know, and its city jesters. Nebojša Lujanović writes with great sense of life and his colorful characters which he depicts with great empathy and understanding, presenting us with the microcosm of city of Split.

As in the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest this is a story of surrender and resignation to tyranny of few, but also a story of resilience of the disempowered, a beautiful tragicomedy where a spark of rebellion is set. And although Sirocco is tragic in many ways, at the same time it brings hope for possible resistance and change. What if the buffoons and jesters are not the ones who are irrational and deranged, but reality itself is?

“Outlining a rich palette of losers and underdogs who are object of ridicule, Nebojša Lujanović is undoubtedly on their side, making the readers feel great sympathy for them as well. Poor and wretched, hopeless and hardened by the ruthless fight for survival, they have more decency and honesty than any of those on top of the social ladder who are pulling the strings and making decisions that directly ruin their lives. Sirocco is a book that shows once more that top quality literature - while ruined institutions of society roll in greed, neglect and corruption – fights important battles for the last remains of justice and dignity.”  Davor Špišić, Telegram

 "When Nebojša Lujanović came to Split, seduced by postcard-perfect Mediterranean and the city’s mocking, satirical spirit, its crude and sharp humor, lured by its disregard of rules and resonant romanticizing, he found himself in front of a dilemma: whether to put on the running shoes and start jogging on the slopes of Marjan hill, yelling that this city is finished and the end is coming near, or to write a novel. Lujanović, of course, wrote a novel.” Boris Dežulović

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  1. Boris Dežulović o Boris Dežulović o "Južini": Klizav je teren pisati o redikulima Razmišljati i pisati o splitskim redikulima teren je klizav poput ulaštenih tehnobetonskih ploča na Rivi. Redikuli su zavodljiv svijet, izmaknut iz pravila, pa je lako otklizati u romantiziranje, kao što svijet – kad ih ne mlati i tjera od sebe – radi, recimo, s Ciganima. Ima Nebojša Lujanović o njima, o Ciganima, jedan baš zbog toga odličan roman, Oblak boje kože se zove. A redikuli su na&scaron