A Castle in Romagna by Igor Štiks (translated by Russell Scott Valentino & Tomislav Kuzmanovic) is a fictional book alternating in timeline and places, telling two stories which are connected. Mr. Štiks is a prolific Croatian author and editor.
- 103 pages
- Publisher: Autumn Hill Books; Translation edition
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0975444409
A Castle in Romagna by Igor Štiks (translated by Russell Scott Valentino & Tomislav Kuzmanovic) is a short, but verbose novel. I’m glad I read it, but for much of it I was trudging through, until it comes together at the end.
Even though this is a short book (about 100 pages), it is not easy to read. The author’s rambling style, incorporating long, drawn out sentences is hard to follow and I found myself reading the same line twice.
The subject matter is serious and dark. Emotional leaders making bad decisions, abusing their authority. Humanity, however, stays the same regardless of the external circumstances.
This book is dramatic, but it simply didn’t excite me. There was something muted in the narrative and the delivery. I got the themes, I got the parallels, and I got the ideas (I believe) that the author was trying to convey. Overall the novel was enjoyable, I just felt it fell a bit short.
The novel alternates between Renaissance Italy and Tito’s Yugoslavia. A young Bosnian and his friends are touring an Italian castle in 1995, which once held poet Enzo Strecci captive. A friar who live at the castle, Niccolò Darsa, starts talking with the young man offering his own story of escaping from a hostile environment, politically charged.
The story parallels those of Darsa and Strecci where all powerful leaders use their position for petty vendettas, destroying lives and country in the process.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account